First of all collect or purchase seeds for growing chickweed in your home garden. Water the established plants during drought periods. Thinning: Chickweed plants don’t grow well if they are overcrowded. Yards, turf, ga… Many people plant it in places that won’t support anything else. Generally chickweed likes a nice combo of moisture and sun. 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). Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Keep about 5 inches space between two plants while planting the transplants. Chickweed actually grow in all types of soil, even grow in poor soils. It is also useful as a food for canaries. 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. Chickweed is low growing, with matted and trailing green stems from six to fifteen inches in length. Chickweed hugs the soil, or clambers over rocks or neighboring plants. Water the troughs' soil thoroughly, and wait for the water to drain. For preparing the soil, just till the soil and add some organic materials such as well rotted aged manure or home-made compost. 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. So, you can actually choose any side of your home garden for growing chickweed. It usually grows to 45 cm (18 inches) but becomes a low-growing and spreading annual weed in mowed lawns. 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. It is an annual plant that readily self sows, making it come back year after year. It grows naturally and considered as an unwanted plant in some areas. It’s also very common in lawns. After a period of drought, you will see it pop back to life with the first rain. You can start harvesting chickweed by snipping the top several inches of stems, leaves and flowers. 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. It is rich in nutrients and can be eaten raw or cooked like spinach, and the plant definitely well worth cultivating. Perhaps you are like many homeowners who spend enormous amounts of time trying to kill patches of chickweed in your garden. 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… Choose a location for your chickweed. 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”. Identification and Growth Habits Chickweed displays small, pointy, egg-shaped leaves and a line of tiny hairs running along the length of the stems. But some people also love growing chickweed in their home garden, because the plant is edible. A large, open area is best because chickweed spreads outward. It prefers partial to full sun, moist to mesic conditions, and moderately fertile loam or clay loam soils. This weed can even sprout new roots from the nodes on its stem and take over your lawn that way. 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. It will often grow in large patches, which is part of why it is considered a weed. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Chickweed can be grown easily in a raised bed using the same method. Good luck! Simple to grow and very forgiving, perhaps its time you cut chickweed a break. Common chickweed is primarily a winter annual broadleaf in California, but in foggy coastal areas, it can survive year-round. Chickweed is used as a cooling herbal remedy, and generally grown as a vegetable crop and ground cover for both human consumption and poultry. While chickweed prefers moisture-rich soils, it will grow in nearly any type of soil and under most conditions. The seeds germinates in autumn or late winter, and then form large mats of foliage. In the wild, European chickweed tends to appear on forest edges. It is one of the most common weeds founds in lawns but it also grows well in cultivated fields, pastures, waste areas and in some deciduous forests. Recipe: Chickweed Salad If you are unable to find the chickweed seeds, then you can also consider planting the transplants. Light shade and temporary flooding are tolerated. So the chickweed is gaining the attention of food lovers and health enthusiasts as a nutritional and tasty edible plant. Leave the planting area alone while the seeds sprout and seedlings begin to grow. The leaves fold up of a night time, enfolding and protecting the tender buds of new shoots. The plant grows well in slightly moist soil and light shade, such as under bushes, trees or other tall plants. 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. Chickweed is actually an annual plant and it can be grown throughout the year. It will thrive in springtime, die back during the hotter months, then reappear when things cool down. Seeds produced in differing habitats and geographical locations exhibit markedly different dormancy patterns and germination requirements. 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. Native “star” chickweed pops up in the forest, as it appreciates more dense shade. It is a soothing, lubricating plant whose abundant use in salads or as tincture will ease inflammatory conditions like arthritis. I became acquainted with chickweed in the summer of 2010. In reality, you could pull up this edible plant and have it for dinner. Incorporate a 2-inch layer of compost into the planting site's soil to a depth of 8 to 12 inches. Chickens generally love eating the plants, especially the seeds. You can leave it undisturbed right after planting the seeds until thinning is needed. Don’t pull up the plants by the roots, because it would prevent the plant from coming back in the next season. Herbalists have used it for a range of medical conditions, such as acne and skin irritations. The chickweed is an annual plant that is very easy to grow. The chickweed seeds generally germinate faster, and you can expect the seeds to sprout within a week. Fertilizing: Chickweed plants don’t require additional fertilization. Chickweed (Stellaria media) is gaining the attention of food lovers and health enthusiasts as a nutritional and tasty edible plant well worth cultivating. 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. It can grow even if it’s completely under shade. Grass-Leaved Chickweed, Stellaria graminea, is much more common in my yard than Stellaria media. Learn how your comment data is processed. So, thin the seedlings by removing some of them when they reach about 3 inches tall. Although chickweed is not overly picky about its soil, it does best in soil containing organic material. Remove all sticks, stones and other debris that may interfere with the chickweed. Susan Patterson is a health and gardening advocate. Water established chickweed during periods of drought, keeping the soil moist but not saturated. You have to source the seeds of your own. I was happy to discover this large chickweed patch in … This plant occurs in many countries. The seeds reseed themselves every year with the seedlings emerging in early spring. Although taking additional care will result good growth of the plants. However, here we are describing everything about growing chickweed from planting, caring to harvesting. 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. They are actually free from these problems. Chickweed plants are less prone to pests and diseases. Her passions include sustainable living, organic foods and functional fitness. All the parts of the chickweed plants including stems, leaves and flowers are edible. 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As we have mentioned previously, you will need to take less care while growing chickweed plants. 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. Chickweed will happily grow in most soil types and conditions but each species has a preferred environment. 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. The plant grows well in slightly moist soil and light shade, such as under bushes, trees or other tall plants. The flowers open around 9 o'clock in the morning and remain open for about 12 hours. Keep about 5 inches between the plants for the best results. Common chickweed is a frequent weed of cereals, sugar beet and other arable crops. You can even find it green and vibrant under early fall snowfalls and will be growing under the snow in early spring. But the seeds generally germinate well in autumn or late winter, and then forms large mats of foliage. She is a Master Gardener, Certified Metabolic Typing Advisor and a Certified Health Coach with vast experience working with organic gardening and nutrition. However, you can still … But most of the people don’t know it’s health benefits, rather they only know it as a weed and an invasive plant. It can be eaten raw or cooked as a vegetable and is often added to salads. This makes it easier to control. Herbicide resistance is a growing problem. It is a celebrated edible, outstanding medicine and easy to identify, once you know what to look for. Here we are describing about the common caring steps for growing chickweed plants. Many species of wildlife feed on its leaves and seeds. Chickweed is a common plant that comes up in late winter or early spring. It can harbor several viruses and other pests that affect a variety of vegetable crops. Patterson has been writing and presenting on health and gardening topics for 10 years. Inflammation is at the heart of a wide range of severe conditions including heart disease, cancer, arthritis and diabetes and many more. Plants produce large quantities of quickly germinating seed throughout the year and can easily smother beds and borders if not promptly controlled. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. If you’re working in a garden, mowing isn’t an option. 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. Scatter about three chickweed seeds per every 1 inch in the planting troughs. Tincture of chickweed or chickweed tea can be used to treat bloating, bladder and liver problems, and upset stomach. 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. But the seeds generally germinate well in autumn or late winter, and then forms large mats of foliage. 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. Create narrow, 1/2-inch deep planting troughs using a hoe or trowel. Its stem is green or reddish, and never woody, as it is an annual. Then water the bed, and leave the area alone while the seeds sprout and the seedlings begin to grow. Stellaria longifolia (Long-leaf Starwort) is another chickweed cousin. Chickweed seeks soil that has balanced conditions. 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