One of the many advantages of Chickweed is its ability to grow nearly year round only dying back during extreme adverse conditions such as prolonged heat and drought or sub free… Chickweed is not too popular, so we don’t know about the availability of the seeds. If you’re working in a garden, mowing isn’t an option. Common Mouse Ear Chickweed will spread very quickly in soil that is chalky and dry. Chickweed likes to grow in moist conditions and like most “weeds” is very resilient. Keep at least 5 inches space between 2 plants for better growth. 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As we have mentioned previously, you will need to take less care while growing chickweed plants. Native “star” chickweed pops up in the forest, as it appreciates more dense shade. Watering: Regular watering will ensure better growth of the plants. Choose a location for your chickweed. All the parts of the chickweed plants including stems, leaves and flowers are edible. Water established chickweed during periods of drought, keeping the soil moist but not saturated. and most of North America, Chickweed is commonly seen practically anywhere there are people. It grows best in cool, humid conditions and is a serious problem in overwintered vegetable and flower bulb crops. Chickweed is very popular among the poultry birds, that’s why such name. Chickweed thrives under our mild winter temperatures. Chickweed has very powerful, natural anti-inflammatory properties which give the plant a wide range of uses when it comes to diseases linked to inflammation. Although chickweed may be erect, it is most often sprawling, creating a … It is an annual plant that readily self sows, making it come back year after year. Although it prefers a rich soil, and so can be a good indicator of soil fertility, it is adaptable to a range of growing conditions. What’s more, a single chickweed plant can produce an impressive 800 seeds in a single season -- but that’s not the only way it spreads. Thinning: Chickweed plants don’t grow well if they are overcrowded. A large, open area is best because chickweed spreads outward. However, if the conditions are right, chickweed can grow anywhere, from compost heaps to cracks in the sidewalk, as long as the conditions are balanced enough for it to thrive. Even though we consider it a weed, chickweed produces very lovely and very prolific flowers. It thrives in cool and moist conditions and grows readily in disturbed soil. And cover the seeds with about 1/4 inches of soil after sowing. It usually grows to 45 cm (18 inches) but becomes a low-growing and spreading annual weed in mowed lawns. Chickweed loves cool, damp conditions, and prefers soft, rich, recently disturbed soil. It can harbor several viruses and other pests that affect a variety of vegetable crops. It is actually native to Europe, but also naturalized in many part of North America and some other parts of the world. Seeds produced in differing habitats and geographical locations exhibit markedly different dormancy patterns and germination requirements. Plant Description. Chickweed actually grow in all types of soil, even grow in poor soils. Chickweed is actually an annual plant and it can be grown throughout the year. Chickweed will grow in sunny spots as well as partial shade, but it needs a wide-open area with plenty of room to spread outward. However, you can still … The plant grows well in slightly moist soil and light shade, such as under bushes, trees or other tall plants. Fine hairs run along one side of the stems/branches that rotate position by 90° at each node To distinguish chickweed from other plants, the stem may be pulled so that it breaks around the outside. Susan Patterson is a health and gardening advocate. Her passions include sustainable living, organic foods and functional fitness. Leave the planting area alone while the seeds sprout and seedlings begin to grow. It is also useful as a food for canaries. The common chickweed, or stitchwort (Stellaria media), is native to Europe but is widely naturalized. But the seeds generally germinate well in autumn or late winter, and then forms large mats of foliage. Chickweed is a low-growing annual, which bears smooth paired leaves (botanically, we call this ‘opposite leaves’) with no teeth. This makes it easier to control. Chickweed (Stellaria media) is gaining the attention of food lovers and health enthusiasts as a nutritional and tasty edible plant well worth cultivating. Mulching: Mulching helps to retain moisture into the soil and also help to prevent most of the weeds from your garden. Grass-Leaved Chickweed, Stellaria graminea, is much more common in my yard than Stellaria media. Subscribe ROY'S FARM newsletter for news, updates and receiving notifications of new posts by email. But the seeds generally germinate well in autumn or late winter, and then forms large mats of foliage. Remove all sticks, stones and other debris that may interfere with the chickweed. The flowers open around 9 o'clock in the morning and remain open for about 12 hours. Although taking additional care will result good growth of the plants. Plants produce large quantities of quickly germinating seed throughout the year and can easily smother beds and borders if not promptly controlled. These areas may include meadows, fields, disturbed areas, gardens, foothills and coastal locations. Good luck! Common chickweed is primarily a winter annual broadleaf in California, but in foggy coastal areas, it can survive year-round. This is 40 per cent of the cropland in the province. Water the established plants during drought periods. Fertilizing: Chickweed plants don’t require additional fertilization. Chickweed is low growing, with matted and trailing green stems from six to fifteen inches in length. The plants will grow just fine if you till the soil and add some organic materials into it. A very common garden weed, chickweed grows, flowers and sets seed all year round. But some people also love growing chickweed in their home garden, because the plant is edible. So, you can actually choose any side of your home garden for growing chickweed. A carrier oil infused with chopped chickweed reportedly does wonders for eczema and other dry, irritated skin conditions. Herbalists have used it for a range of medical conditions, such as acne and skin irritations. It inhabits agricultural land and other disturbed sites. By the way, you can also try to collect some transplants. It is rich in nutrients and can be eaten raw or cooked like spinach, and the plant definitely well worth cultivating. Chickweed is an annual that is loaded with nutrients and can be eaten raw or cooked like spinach. Preferred Habitat. So the chickweed is gaining the attention of food lovers and health enthusiasts as a nutritional and tasty edible plant. The seeds germinates in autumn or late winter, and then form large mats of foliage. It prefers partial to full sun, moist to mesic conditions, and moderately fertile loam or clay loam soils. Chickens generally love eating the plants, especially the seeds. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Learn how your comment data is processed. Keep about 5 inches space between two plants while planting the transplants. Stellaria media is a low growing annual measuring about 3 to 12 inches (7-30 cm) tall, forming large mats of greens that can easily take over the landscape when ideal conditions make it possible. Best Time for Growing Chickweed Chickweed is actually an annual plant and it can be grown throughout the year. Create narrow, 1/2-inch deep planting troughs using a hoe or trowel. The chickweed seeds generally germinate faster, and you can expect the seeds to sprout within a week. It is full in nutrients, and as an herbal medicine the chickweed is known to help prevent and treat a number of ailments. Young chickweed plant spreading through dormant St. Augustine lawn. Common chickweed is found throughout most of California, except in the Mojave Desert, up to 4300 feet (about 1300 m) and is especially common in lawns and landscaped areas. In lawns, it rarely grows higher than 2 inches, but can be taller (4 to 6 inches) and less compact in gardens or under shaded conditions. Typical growing conditions consist of moist to mesic conditions, and a fairly fertile loam or clay-loam soil. Chickweed is a wonderful edible plant that can be used in tinctures, teas, or infused with oils. While chickweed prefers moisture-rich soils, it will grow in nearly any type of soil and under most conditions. It will thrive in springtime, die back during the hotter months, then reappear when things cool down. It can be eaten raw or cooked as a vegetable and is often added to salads. The centre of the stem will stretch if it is chickweed. The chickweed is an annual plant that is very easy to grow. Rake the planting area in early spring. Its stem is green or reddish, and never woody, as it is an annual. The seeds reseed themselves every year with the seedlings emerging in early spring. Thin the seedlings by removing some of them when they reach about 3 inches tall. She is a Master Gardener, Certified Metabolic Typing Advisor and a Certified Health Coach with vast experience working with organic gardening and nutrition. The plant grows well in slightly moist soil and light shade, such as under bushes, trees or other tall plants. But most of the people don’t know it’s health benefits, rather they only know it as a weed and an invasive plant. Then water the bed, and leave the area alone while the seeds sprout and the seedlings begin to grow. It will often grow in large patches, which is part of why it is considered a weed. Chickweed hugs the soil, or clambers over rocks or neighboring plants. Recipe: Chickweed Salad Chickweed is a little herbaceous plant that grows all over South Eastern Australia with records showing it growing all the way up into the tropics, see image below for the spread. Chickweed seeks soil that has balanced conditions. When I lived in the Seattle area, I often found it growing on organic farms and the farmers were more than happy for me to weed harvest for them. Chickweed can be used in soups and green salads, and has a distinct fresh taste. Perhaps you are like many homeowners who spend enormous amounts of time trying to kill patches of chickweed in your garden. It does not like soil that is too acidic or too dry. Chickweed (Stellaria media) is also known by some other names such as winterweed, maruns, craches and chickenwort. Patterson has been writing and presenting on health and gardening topics for 10 years. It is tasty, easy to digest and can be good for your health. Scatter about three chickweed seeds per every 1 inch in the planting troughs. Growing chickweed is very easy, and it’s grow almost everywhere. It is a soothing, lubricating plant whose abundant use in salads or as tincture will ease inflammatory conditions like arthritis. For preparing the soil, just till the soil and add some organic materials such as well rotted aged manure or home-made compost. Chickweed thrives on its own. This plant occurs in many countries. Chickweed is a common plant that comes up in late winter or early spring. You can even find it green and vibrant under early fall snowfalls and will be growing under the snow in early spring. I became acquainted with chickweed in the summer of 2010. It thrives in disturbed soils where people have left their mark and it’s for this reason that Doug Benoliel in the book Northwest Foragingcalls it the “People Plant”. Chickweed plants are less prone to pests and diseases. Chickweed grows in many areas in a wide variety of habitats and soil textures. After a period of drought, you will see it pop back to life with the first rain. Common chickweed can be very variable in size, habit and general appearance. Stellaria longifolia (Long-leaf Starwort) is another chickweed cousin. Don’t pull up the plants by the roots, because it would prevent the plant from coming back in the next season. Because it behaves like ground cover, some choose to grow it under bushes or taller plants, but chickweed seeds do need sunlight to find their way out of the soil. Inflammation is at the heart of a wide range of severe conditions including heart disease, cancer, arthritis and diabetes and many more. So, thin the seedlings by removing some of them when they reach about 3 inches tall. It is a celebrated edible, outstanding medicine and easy to identify, once you know what to look for. Germination may occur year-round, depending on conditions, with distinct peaks in the UK in spring (March to May) and autumn (Roberts and Feast, 1970). Many people plant it in places that won’t support anything else. So here goes, the hunt for chickweed begins>>> Here we are describing about the common caring steps for growing chickweed plants. They do not open in dull weather. Then level the soil after tilling and adding organic materials. Common chickweed is a frequent weed of cereals, sugar beet and other arable crops. Chickweed is a fast-growing plant that has been utilized as a folk remedy for many conditions, including arthritis pains, skin conditions, such as rashes and eczema, asthma, constipation, and kidney related issues. Herbicide resistance is a growing problem. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Chickweed can be grown easily in a raised bed using the same method. Chickweed is sometime also called common chickweed for distinguishing it from other plants that is also called chickweed. Common Chickweed, on the other hand, is an annual weed and the plant dies at the end of the season. It grows naturally and considered as an unwanted plant in some areas. Yards, turf, ga… Keep about 5 inches between the plants for the best results. You should keep the soil moist constantly, but not saturated. Chickweed will happily grow in most soil types and conditions but each species has a preferred environment. Cover the seeds with 1/4 inch of soil, and spray a fine mist of water on top of the planting area. A large, open area is best because chickweed spreads outward. Miniature, white, five-petaled flowers bloom throughout the growing season. They are actually free from these problems. Why would anyone intentionally grow weeds? After preparing the soil, sow the seeds at the rate of about 3 seeds per every 1 inch. It is also a great addition to your kitchen. IDENTIFICATION AND LIFE CYCLE Common chickweed is a prostrate or erect, somewhat succulent annual that often forms a dense mat. It can grow even if it’s completely under shade. Extrapolation of the 2007 Alberta Weed Survey results indicates there could be up to 3.1 million acres in Alberta alone where one or more weeds are resistant to one or more products. In reality, you could pull up this edible plant and have it for dinner. The leaves fold up of a night time, enfolding and protecting the tender buds of new shoots. Identification and Growth Habits Chickweed displays small, pointy, egg-shaped leaves and a line of tiny hairs running along the length of the stems. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Incorporate a 2-inch layer of compost into the planting site's soil to a depth of 8 to 12 inches. That means you’ll often find it growing prolifically around agricultural land from late winter through the spring and into the summer for most of the continent. If you want to make multiple planting troughs, space them 5 inches apart. Before sowing, soak the seeds in clean and fresh water for about 12 hours for better germination. This weed can even sprout new roots from the nodes on its stem and take over your lawn that way. The answers might surprise you as we look at the wild and wonderful world of weeds. Till Your Garden Soil. You can start harvesting chickweed by snipping the top several inches of stems, leaves and flowers. Light shade and temporary flooding are tolerated. In the wild, European chickweed tends to appear on forest edges. Huge swaths of German chamomile were growing in my garden where it had reseeded from previous years. I was happy to discover this large chickweed patch in … Chickweed is a low growing herbaceous plant that, in the right conditions, forms a thick mat along the ground. You can leave it undisturbed right after planting the seeds until thinning is needed. You have to source the seeds of your own. It’s also very common in lawns. Under favorable growing conditions, a single chickweed plant is capable of producing up to twenty thousand seeds! First of all collect or purchase seeds for growing chickweed in your home garden. Generally chickweed likes a nice combo of moisture and sun. The leaves are generally as big as a pinky nail, but given enough nitrogen and moisture, they can grow much larger. Tips on Growing Chickweed It is best to start growing chickweed during early spring when the ground has thawed. I’ve found chickweed to be soothing to the spirit also, acting not like an anti-depressant but more as something that reduces sorrow and agitation to manageable levels. Simple to grow and very forgiving, perhaps its time you cut chickweed a break. How to Bury Grass Clippings for Heavy Feeders, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association: Chickweed -- Delicious and Nutritious, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: The Art of Growing Chickweed, Traders Creek: Edible Plants -- Wild Survival Guide: Chickweed Plant Description and Location Guide. It is often seen in woodland areas prone to flooding or standing water, thickets, cropland and fallow fields, lawns and gardens, nursery plots, areas adjacent to buildings, and miscellaneous waste areas. It tolerates light shade and temporary flooding, and while it can be found to some extent in natural areas, it prefers areas that have been disturbed. However, here we are describing everything about growing chickweed from planting, caring to harvesting. If you are unable to find the chickweed seeds, then you can also consider planting the transplants. Chickweed is used as a cooling herbal remedy, and generally grown as a vegetable crop and ground cover for both human consumption and poultry. Water the troughs' soil thoroughly, and wait for the water to drain. Tincture of chickweed or chickweed tea can be used to treat bloating, bladder and liver problems, and upset stomach. Although chickweed is not overly picky about its soil, it does best in soil containing organic material. Many species of wildlife feed on its leaves and seeds. Newsletter for news, updates and receiving notifications of new shoots FARM newsletter for news, updates and notifications... 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