Chickweed has beautiful tiny flowers that look like stars, thus the Latin name ‘Stellaria media’. These flowers also produce many tiny seeds that happily self-sow everywhere.
While chickweed has many benefits, it can also be seen as an invasive weed that needs to be controlled.
Chickweed is a ground cover which means it spreads in large masses quickly, so it is very invasive in a garden.
Chickweed is very nutritious and offers many uses as a herb. Many herbalists and homesteaders forage for chickweed plants.
Chickweed also works well as ground cover as it makes an excellent addition to the permaculture design food forest.
But if you have chickweed in your garden it will take over and you’ll need to control it.
When chickweed is used topically, it is believed to help with skin conditions like:
- Itchy skin
Warnings While Using Chickweed
Although chickweed is sometimes used topically for skin ailments, chickweed is risky if eaten. Oral consumption of chickweed in large amounts may lead to:
- Stomach pain
There’s also concern about whether or not chickweed is safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding or children.
I’ve been battling chickweed control in our greenhouse for a couple of years
You can see it growing in between our fall veggies.
How to Get Rid of Chickweed
That being said, if you leave even the tiniest bit of root in the ground it will grow back (and quickly I might add).
I highly recommend NOT using chemicals. Chickweed is easy to remove, and it actually doesn’t take up much time because it is such a light-weight weed with shallow roots.
Chickweed control is easier without chemicals because it’s so easy to pull up. If the plant has already self-sown you’ll need to do this multiple times because it will keep sprouting over and over again.
Be sure to remove the roots of chickweed otherwise it will grow back fast.
How to remove chickweed naturally:
- Use a garden hoe to remove the plant and the roots
- Easily remove it by hand, but make sure you remove the roots.
- Harvest chickweed and use it for it’s benefits, but remove the roots
If you compost chickweed it might grow back in the compost pile!
We give a lot of it to our chickens, although I realize not everyone has this luxury. Make a separate compost pile for invasive weeds so that it doesn’t get into your good vegetable garden compost. I like using a three bin composting system set up but we have a pile at the back of the acreage that we burn in the fall.
Do you use chickweed for its benefits or are your battling chickweed control?