Why Do Weeds Grow Faster Than Flowers?

A while ago, I asked my newsletter readers why my weeds grew faster than my garden plants while I was away. I left home to a perfectly tame back yard and came home to blooming chicory all through it.
They responded below….

My Readers Wrote

Isn’t chicory that stuff really “healthy” people drink instead of coffee?????????
The answer to your question is relatively simple. A lot of readers have been sneaking over to your garden and watering/feeding the weeds. It turned into a very enjoyable project.
In answer to your question about the weeds growing faster than the flowers that you asked us. I know it was in jest, but, what is wrong with a little chicory. After all they are one of Missouri’s wildflowers and were here long before you or I. The Indian’s and early settler’s used it for many things, one of which was as a replacement for coffee. Besides it gives us a very pretty blue flower free of charge. And the all important reason, my twin 4 year old granddaughters love to pick them for me. My husband always leaves a couple of chicory and a couple of Queen Anne’s Lace when he is weed eating just for their natural beauty. Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Ok, they are not as pretty as an Oriental Lilly, etc. but what the heck.
PS. I do enjoy your newsletter, have trouble keeping up with all the changes, but you do a great job. Thanks Carol F. (from Missouri, of course)
I’m sure you’ve heard “when the Cat’s away, the Mouse will play”?….. Well, weeds fall into that category. If they sense even a minisule drop in attentiveness on the part of the “gardener”, they kick their metabolism into high gear and have a party. 🙂
Hope that answers your question
Yours in weed attentiveness
New Brunswick

HI Doug~ I live on a little farm in Elizabeth, CO, east-central Colorado, zones 4-5. My thought on this, since I am a devoted Moon Gardener, is that you may have cut your grass in the third quarter of the Moon’s life, or just before the New Moon. Either of those times is great for mowing to discourage growth, and also the best time for pruning anything, especially tree limbs. They heal over naturally, you can tell by looking at cuts on trees…the ones which have a nice growth over the edges of the cut have been pruned in the third quarter of the Moon’s life, the ones which are just still pretty raw, no healing-over, were cut at the first or second quarter. So…mow to your heart’s content and happy gardening to you!

With your sense of humor, surely you are a fan of Douglas Adams and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy? I’m certain there is an answer for this question in there, as no one, but no one, can word things as twisted and amusingly as he does.
Never-the-less, I’ll give it a go: I think the answer, as I have experienced the very same phenomenon, is that our time on a holiday speeds up ever so slightly, while time in the regular world carries on as if normal. Thus, things that don’t take vacations, like weeds, continue to grow at full speed, whilst the things that we stop and enjoy, including flowers and grass, haven’t had as much “time” to grow because they are attached to our holiday “time”.
If you didn’t want the grass to grow over your holiday, it would of course grow 6” and you’d have to spend the first day back just cutting the grass. I’m not sure this is the same idea as if you take an umbrella with you on a trip it won’t rain, but if you don’t it pours the entire time?
Otherwise I put it down to the REALLY long tap root on those chicory plants and access to water!!
Thanks for your constant great work.
Best regards,

To answer your “Question of the Week” to us:
The answer is: “For the same reason I have poison ivy all over the place this year, and can barely keep anything else alive in this drought we’re having, silly!” LOL!

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2 thoughts on “Why Do Weeds Grow Faster Than Flowers?”

  1. Makes me think of the rhyme: Mary, Mary quite contrary, How does your garden grow ………
    Glad I was able to see the answers. It’s a change from the snow on the lawn and the musical seed pods which overhang the snow from the neighbour”s tree, honey locust.
    Back in the late 50’s and 60’s when I worked at the Ontario Hospital School, the ministry used to come and collect the seed cones from a special evergreen on the grounds. Do you think they would clean up the neighbour’s pods?
    Willa in Orillia, ON.

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