The Q&A Archives: Chickweed

Question: How to keep chickweed out of my flower gardens

Answer: Chickweed generally grows as a winter annual, sprouting in fall and, in warm winter areas, continuing to sprout and grow throughout the winter. Unlike many weeds, it blooms and sets seeds in the cool weather of early spring. If you pull the weeds as you see them, you'll reduce the number that go to seed in the spring. (Each chickweed plant can produce up to 15,000 seeds!) Use a cultivator (or any pronged tool) to grasp the plants' thick, matted growth, and twist to pull it out by the roots. Since the plants are so hardy and resilient, it's best to remove them from the garden completely, rather than trying to till them under. Once you get rid of the weeds, mulch over the bare soil with 2-3 inches of compost or other mulch material. Mulch will exclude sunlight penetration to the soil surface and prevent weed seeds from germinating. Best wishes with your garden!

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