Since ancient times, when farming first appeared, man has introduced the concept of weed control because weeds have always competed with cultivated plants for resources. At present, weed control still continues but the battle is still far from over.
Is there anyone who hasn’t ever heard of a widespread plant such as chickweed? The habitat for chickweed is almost every setting, except for deserts and areas beyond the Arctic Circle.
If the soil is wet in the garden due to the natural climate or because of frequent watering, you may soon become acquainted with this plant. One chickweed plant may produce 15,000 seeds, which keep their ability to sprout for 3-5 years. Besides seed propagation, chickweed roots itself by the stems. If you chop the stem and leave it in the soil, the stem will root and continue growing.
This is an annual or a perennial. If you look at this plant, you may get wrong impression of its fragility and delicate vulnerability: thin stems, small leaves, and small star-like flowers on the leaf sinuses or at the end of the stem. The plant is self-pollinated. The flower petals are white, thin and two-separated, on long peduncles.
The roots are weak and may be pulled out of the soil easily. The plant grows 8 inches tall. One plant possesses the ability to cover the soil from 8 to 24 inches in diameter. This cushion allows for the drying up of the soil and the air around. Moisture absorption occurs due to the filaments on the bottom part of the leaves and the stems. This is the reason for why the plant settles in areas with excess moisture.
You may come across flowers and ripe seeds on the chickweed. The plant has a short vegetative period of just 1 month. The whole plant population lives all the time. When one plant dies, another one grows to substitute it due to the fact that the seeds can sprout extremely quickly, as soon as they touch the soil.
This plant doesn’t require a resting period. Chickweed may replace 2 generations in one summer. If winter comes across chickweed with buds and flowers, the growing period freezes until spring. With the first rays of the spring sun, the seeds ripen. With a temperature of 35.6 39.2F, they begin to sprout.
If you look at the plant as a weed, you know that it should be eradicated, but nature never creates anything solely in vain. Surprisingly, the Chickweed is included on the list of the most beneficial plants in the world.
It is a medicinal plant for humans and a feeding plant for animals.
Though its chemical composition hasn’t been studied properly, according to certain studies, its composition, in addition to vitamins and micronutrients, includes a complex of biologically active substances, which influence the nervous system, metabolism, and the whole body beneficially. It’s successfully used in the production of cosmetics.
Since ancient times, the young leaves of chickweed have been used in salads, especially in early spring. They possess a pleasant taste and are a good source of vitamins and micronutrients. Instead of extermination, try to use them in the kitchen. If chickweed has occupied your garden, you need to take the following measures for weed control.
Weed control may be implemented in a few ways:
1. If you have chickweed in the garden as single weeds, you may practice regular weeding. The weed is collected thoroughly after the weeding and removed from the garden since separate parts of the plant may strike a root in the soil.
2. Soil mulching. This is an effective way for weed control, and not only with chickweed. The soil is covered with organic mulch layer 2 inches thick.
3. Soil solarization. The method includes covering the soil, prepared specially for planting of cultivated plants, with film. The sun rays warm the soil to the temperature which is destructive for the plants and weeds.
4. The areas with significant weed accumulation are covered with dark film or other dark material. The light doesn’t penetrate through it but warms the soil through it. These conditions eradicate chickweed and many other weeds.
We would recommend you using herbicides for weed control. They are an effective remedy for the bulk choking up with weeds but studies have shown that any chemical substances used for weed control and pest control have a negative influence on humans, causing various diseases associated with poisoning in minor doses. Your children play in the garden. You spend your time with children and four-legged friends there.
It’s better that you implement weed control against chickweed using safe methods.