Let 'em Grow: Chickweed: WANTED - chickweed

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Let 'em Grow:  Chickweed

By Sharon
June 5, 2012

This is one in a series of very short articles that will hopefully change your mind about some surprisingly good weeds. And even if your mind isn't changed, you'll still be well informed.

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Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jun 5, 2012 12:13 PM CST
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Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
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Trish
Jun 5, 2012 12:35 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Lynn-

For us, this is no small weed- it makes a good wide mound in a short amount of time. Several feet across, even. The habit is similar to purslane, if you know that one from site.

Hope that helped a little bit!
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Jun 5, 2012 12:39 PM CST
I know purslane. It some times comes up in my raised beds. Love to eat it.
Thanks Trish and Sharon.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jun 5, 2012 12:41 PM CST
That's interesting, Trish, because here it grows tall but seems to sort of lay over instead of being upright. Maybe I haven't planned very well and it isn't clumped together as it should be. I don't have very much, just one small area where it naturalizes. Enough for me, though!
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Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
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Horseshoe
Jun 5, 2012 1:10 PM CST
NIce article, Sharon.

I like having chickweed around. It's very prolific here. This past winter it pretty much took over some of my raised beds though cus I took a "vacation" from tending to them and boy-howdy once it takes over it is a massive root system!

Some years back I grazed on chickweed all day while working in the gardens. Nibble here, mouthful there, more now, more later. Unfortunately I found out the next day I was having to spend entirely too much time dealing with a body that was insistent on purging itself! Too much of it and it'll set you free, clean you right out! *Blush*

Shoe
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jun 5, 2012 1:18 PM CST
You got that right, Shoe!
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Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
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Trish
Jun 5, 2012 1:20 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Really hard to describe it's habit, isn't it? With my description, I was trying to convey the fact that one plant (one root) makes a large spread. (It's very easy to pull up!)

I didn't want Lynn to be looking for a tiny sprig of a plant.

In this picture, you can see some near the end of it's lifespan (Taken March 15th)- the chickweed and the chard are competing for space. The chickweed is everything you see at the bottom. I wouldn't harvest this, as it is yellowish, and seedy...but it does give you an idea of the size.
Thumb of 2012-06-05/Trish/3c541f

Sharon- in some areas, we have it taller, (maybe 12-18"), and in others it is shorter. We have had some with leaves way bigger that we've ever seen pictures of as well.

You won't find it in the pastures, it is in loose soil.
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Jun 5, 2012 1:26 PM CST
I really can't remember seeing that out in the yard.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jun 5, 2012 1:29 PM CST
Things grow bigger in Texas!!

When I was growing up the 'olders' would often leave a garden area plowed but unplanted for a season. Chickweed would be growing rampant by early spring and would cover that plowed area. Aunt Bett always said it was 'feeding' the soil. Well, she actually said 'feeding the dirt. I don't remember 'soil' being part of her vocabulary.

Mine is yellow and browned by now too, I'll see if I can get a photo, but think it's all been cut back. It looked much like your picture, but more flattened, maybe. A few weeks ago when I wrote this article I tried to get a picture but it was already wayyyyy past its prime.

Thanks Trish.
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Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Jun 5, 2012 4:04 PM CST
Trish's photo looks like our chickweed.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jun 5, 2012 4:10 PM CST
I keep looking at that yummy chard.
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Name: Renée
Northern KY
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KyWoods
Jun 5, 2012 5:51 PM CST
Me, too! It's also a pretty plant, isn't it?
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jun 5, 2012 6:14 PM CST
Beautiful plant!
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Jun 5, 2012 6:21 PM CST
Hmmm, gonna have to get a pic of my least favorite weed and see if you experts think it's chickweed. Smiling It's easy to yank out, but you never get all the roots and there are thousands of little seedlings happy to take over. The leaves and flowers sure look like what I have growing here! Mine doesn't get as leggy as the stuff in Trish's picture, cause I keep yanking it out!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

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plantladylin
Jun 5, 2012 6:50 PM CST
Sharon: I'm a little late seeing this article, but I love when you share your stories and knowledge with us! WOW, I never knew that Chickweed was edible! If it tastes like Spinach I'd love it. I like putting spinach in salads and on sandwiches so I will have to try Chickweed some time. I guess Stellaria media is found all over the U.S. Here in Florida it forms low growing mats in lawns and most folks try to get rid of it, probably not knowing that it's edible!

http://www.na.fs.fed.us/fhp/in...

http://www.floridanature.org/s...
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Jun 5, 2012 7:05 PM CST
I'm with Lin! If it tastes like spinach, gimmee!!! Darn it, too soggy out to get a pic (don't want to soak my camera!), but I'd really like to find out it that's what my little weed is. I'd be more than happy to send samples to anyone who wants some! Hilarious! Darn stuff is everywhere!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Critter (Jill)
Frederick, MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Jun 5, 2012 7:27 PM CST
I potted up a cute little container of it for the friend Aspenhill mentioned... it acts as an early spring groundcover for my main veggie bed. I don't try to get rid of it, because it dies back before it can be a problem to the peppers or tomatoes, and I pile the dried-up bits around some of my plants as a sort of mulch. I haven't tried eating it, though -- and next spring, I will!

I've got the common chickweed and also what I'm pretty sure is "mouse ear chickweed," with tiny little hairs on the leaves and stems. The little blooms on both rate high on the cuteness scale with my daughter (and with me... fun to be eye to eye with them when I'm working down low in the garden).
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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Sharon
Jun 5, 2012 8:10 PM CST
Mouse ear chickweed, Cerastium, I think. It's edible too, Critter, but because of the hairiness it needs to be boiled or cooked or it feels fuzzy on your tongue.

Tastes like asparagus, not bad at all.
It also no doubt has some medicinal properties, but I'd have to do some searching because I've forgotten specifics.

Glad Terri's friend got her chickweed!!
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Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

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plantladylin
Jun 6, 2012 6:25 PM CST
Hey Sharon: Can you by chance identify which Chickweed this is growing in my yard? The thread "Which Chickweed?" in Plant ID forum
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Ferns Daylilies Irises Cat Lover
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Sharon
Jun 6, 2012 6:37 PM CST
Not sure Lin, but compare it to this, particularly the buds:

http://florapittsburghensis.wo...

Cerastium is definitely hairier than Stellaria.
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