Spring’s Pesky Invaders (But you can eat them!)

Ron Wilson

Plants of the Week – Springs Pesky Invaders

Spring has sprung and so have these pesky invaders.So I felt we needed to make sure we hit these cute little ‘weeds’ we’re seeing growing like ‘weeds’ right now; namely Chickweed, Purple Dead Nettle, Henbit, and Hairy Bittercress (although several others may be starting to show as well – like annual bluegrass, horseweed, speedwell, bedstraw and even the rosettes of poison hemlock, which we will address later in the season).I bring these up right now because the short spurts of warm weather has these winter annuals (which actually germinated last fall and have been sitting patiently for a little warm weather) growing like crazy so they can flower, seed and die.And it happens just like that!The secret to control is simply raking them out of where they’re growing.They’re annuals, and die.And make sure you rake them before they flower and set seed!In lawns, get the lawn thicker and these winter annuals can’t grow.In open beds and gardens, apply a pre-emergent in late summer to stop the seeds from growing.


By the way, did you know that these are all basically edible, with Chickweed being one of the most nutritious greens you can eat?So, I say this: “If you can’t beat ‘em, just eat ‘em!”


Purple Dead Nettle

Hairy Bittercress


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