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