Chickweed Question

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As many here know (probably) I don't consider many of the native plants that grow in my area as a weed, actually I allow many of the plants that grow in my yard to grow, many of which are considered a noxious weed. A good example is the Stachys floridana (AKA: Florida Betony, Florida Hedgenettle, Rattlesnake Weed....), which I have growing all over my yard, because it's great for many pollinators and then it dies away in late spring.

However, there is one plant I've been wondering about if I should allow to grow, because it kind of takes over and it does not really attract pollinators, although, when the honeybees are desperate they will collect from the very small white flowers of this plant -- Stellaria media (AKA: Chickweed). And actually it's not native, but it has naturalized well in this area and it's also a cold season plant and is gone by summer.

My main problem with it, is that as it gets toward the end of its life, it starts turning brown and become very matted and just makes a mess.

However, for the first time this year I decided to attack it with weed whacker, but only without taking out other plants, such as my broccoli, Brussels sprouts, artichokes, so I did get most of it... However, I was extremely surprised by how wet this plant is, I had to stop ever so often to removed the caked on bits of Chickweed from my weed eater. I usually only weed whack grass and it's wet, but nothing like how wet chickweed is.

So now I'm thinking I should do this more often, because it might make a great mulch, potentially a good source of nitrogen could be put back in the soil -- I'm guessing.

Curious what others do with this plant?

BTW, I do know it's edible.
 
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I Consider it a weed but Just where I don't want it. But I often like to eat it as a part of a fresh salad Or in a sandwich with ham and tomato:) Its surprisingly tasty better than a lettuce anyway(y)
 
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If you know anyone with birds in aviaries they'll love it. My mum used to breed all types of birds from finches to parakeets and any chickweed growing in the garden was fed to them. Canaries in particular feast off it. :)
 
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Chickweed pops up in our barn lot, and I pull it and give it to our hens.
I'd think that it would make good mulch, as do most weeds after they are whacked or pulled up. Just toss them into a path or around desired plants, and let them add to the soil.
 
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Here's one place where it is very thick, so I think it's choking out my Crimson Clover that I planted around the Brussels sprouts, but it doesn't seem to adversely effect my brussels sprouts and potatoes (the larger plants in the green mass of chickweed).

I'll probably have to take a weed wacker to it again this weekend...either that or make a lot of salads and sandwiches.:)

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I've also noticed that it doesn't grow well in other areas that are not total all-day sun, such as on the West side of my property, where it's more like a forest environment. Here I mostly got Florida Betony and Alyssum...and other things...


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But the Florida Betony does compete with it fairly well, which is a good thing because the pollinators definitely prefer the Florida Betony.


The first pic is what the flower of the Florida Betony looks like, the other pics are just a mass of green, mostly Florida Betony and Chickweed...with some Wood Sorrel thrown in...

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I can See Plenty of Wood sorrel Fishtail oxalis: Oxalis latifolia. Its a Native of yours. We Have it Here Too But I Don't Believe Its Native to the UK (could Be wrong), But Its Here for Good & In almost every Garden:)
 
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As mentioned by others, chickweed has many uses. It is easy to pull up, good as green manure.Cage & aviary birds love it especially during the breeding season. As a salad along with Bittersweet and Wintersweet. It can be used to make soup also. Another freebie is the smooth leaved dandelion, a couple of leaves in a cheese sandwich is very nice.
 

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