Bridge Gardens’ Weed of the Month | Chickweeds

May 9, 2024

By Rick Bogusch

Bridge Gardens

Chickweeds can be found year-round in lawns, gardens and beds. Two species, common chickweed and mouse-eared chickweed, are native to Eurasia, but frequently found in temperate regions throughout the globe. Members of the pink family, they are related to pinks, carnations and campions. Common chickweed is an annual that grows 3-6 inches tall in sun and forms mats, 3-36 inches in diameter. Its egg-shaped leaves and stems are smooth, not hairy, and bright green. Flowers are small, ¼-inch in diameter, white, with 5 petals so deeply lobed, they look like 10. Mouse-eared chickweed is similar, but is a perennial with fuzzy stems and leaves. They both prefer moist, fertile soils and grow in full sun or partial shade. They are both edible and are used medicinally to soothe and heal small cuts and to control inflammation.

Hand-pulling, roots and all, is the easiest way to control chickweeds in gardens and beds. Smothering with cardboard or tarps is also effective, as is mulching after a thorough weeding. In lawns, chickweeds can be controlled by mowing high at 3 ½” to shade them out and stop their seeds from germinating. Vinegar sprays are also effective.

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