Chickweed is a self seeding ground cover, so it is great for suppressing undesirable weeds. Planting it as a living mulch under plants that grow tall, such as tomatoes, will help save time with the laborious task of weed-pulling. Its fine, shallow root system coexists nicely with other root systems, and when it dies back, it leaves a thick web of plant material that shades the soil until you are ready to till. Common chickweed is an indispensable herb that no garden should be without. It is easy to grow and its health benefits are infinite. We personally find this plant to be one of the top ten medicinal herbs out there because of the loads of minerals and vitamins as well as blood cleansing properties.
Common name: Common Chickweed
Botanical name: Stellaria media
Type: Self-seeding spreading ground cover.
Scarification/Stratification: None needed.
Hardiness: Grows in all zones.
Sow temp/season: Sow in late winter or early fall.
Sow depth/spacing: Surface sow by scattering and press in soil. Thinning not necessary.
Germination time: Under cool soil conditions, one week.
Final spacing: Thinning not needed.
Final height/spread: Can mound to 8 inches and spread 2 feet or more. Will tangle together to form a nice mat.
pH range: 4.5-8
Soil type: Will grow well in any soil. Particularly loves growing next to our cured horse manure.
Nutrition: Heavy feeder, so it helps to have a fertile bed.
Drainage: Grows best with good drainage but not necessary.
Water requirement: Tends to become spindly with drought and succulent with ample water.
Sun: Full sun to part shade. I find the best patches to have midday shade which is easy if grown under sun loving annuals.
Time to maturity: 60 days
Hilling: None needed, plant will spread and shoot down roots where there is contact with soil.
Suckering: None. Will branch profusely.
Propagation: Best sown in situ. Does not transplant well due to ultra-fine roots.
Hybridization: To be safe plant different species 100 feet apart.
Uses: Chickweed is a spring tonic, blood cleanser, vitamin factory, and healing plant that is best used fresh in salads, teas, salves, tinctures, or eaten fresh out of the garden for its beneficial properties. A woman’s friend, the tincture made from fresh plant material has been shown to reduce and even eliminate ovarian cysts. Chickweed is also great for – CHICKENS! They love it.