Search May Dreams Gardens

Sunday, August 03, 2008

I Like To Know What Weeds I'm Pulling

A few years ago, seemingly out of nowhere, this weed appeared in my vegetable garden.

It likes to grow along the outside edges of the raised beds, right by the wood edging, plus in the paths and really everywhere. It's a prostrate spreader but is fairly easy to pull up, especially if you use a Cape Code Weeder or short-handed Cobrahead.

I should know, as I pulled a lot of it today, mostly with the Cobrahead.

And I still have a lot of it to pull. So if anyone can give it a name, I'd be grateful, because I like to know the names of the weeds I'm pulling.

Who knows, it might be one of those edible weeds like chickweed (Stellaria media), dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) and purslane (Portulaca oleracea).

Oh, and add plaintain (Plantago major) to the list of supposedly delicious, edible weeds. My aunt sent me an email saying that she read in their local paper that plaintain is high in vitamin C and can be eaten when the leaves are young, either cooked or in salads. It is supposed to taste like mushrooms.

But I'll never know because I don't plan to try it.

Even though I don't have a ripe tomato yet and my squash plants are kaput from the squash borers and the cucumbers are mostly bitter, I'm not hungry enough, yet, to eat the weeds.


Supposedly weeds tell you something about your garden, about the soil. I think my weeds are telling me, "get out here and weed, even us weeds are feeling all crowded out by each other".

And in addition to the weeds telling me stuff, I felt like the sunflowers were watching me work out there, too.

But I wasn't intimidated by the sunflowers, I just kept humming along, embracing the weeding, thinking about what the weeds teach us.

I did do a lot of weeding today, and got about half of the vegetable garden cleaned up. So if you go out there to see it, turn to the left, that's the half that I've weeded. I'll finish the rest up through the week.

If you want to see my mystery weed up close, turn to the right, there's still a lot of it to see.If you want my gratitude, tell me what this weed is!


Annie in Austin said...

I have no idea what the weed is called, Carol, but am glad to see you've joined MSS in allowing plants with Googly Eyes to play in your garden!

We have chickweed and purslane but I've not seen Plantain sown here. I actually had to think about it for a minute to get a mental image...which has shocked me a little.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Perennial Gardener said...

I don't know what that weed is either, but I have my fair share of chickweed and purslane. Then there is the random grass that appears after a downpour. The sunflower with the googly eyes is a good touch, lol.

Cabs said...

Love your humor! I don't know what this weed is either but will be interested to see if others do. If it is edible, I think with the price of food rising you may have a crop to take to market!

I am just back from touring 4 private gardens in the Southern Berkshires and am chocked full of inspiration.... for another year!!
Hope your summer is going well.
Carol in Mass.

EAL said...

There are some wild milkweeds that kind of look like that, but I dunno.

A god wildflower book might tell you as I do not think they differentiate between weeds and wildflowers and they are organized by color and shape.

MA said...

Could even be some kind of polygonium or knot weed.

LOVE that goofy sunflower that's 'stalking' you.


Vanillalotus said...

I'm going to say knotweed. That is the closest thing I found to what you have but the leaves don't look quite the same. Goodluck.

Kitt said...

I had a similar conundrum recently and found the answer through Name That Plant at GardenWeb. You upload your picture or point to your blog post there, and someone will give you the answer, often within minutes.

Love the sunflower!

Frances, said...

Hi Carol, you are in tune with your weeds, it seems. Like you, I don't feel like eating them either. There is enough to eat without resorting to eating the enemy. Try Nan Ondra at Hayefield for an ID. She can identify any plant!

Lisa Blair said...

I wish I knew because this weed loves my front porch bed. Comes up all in my lantana. I've been wondering what it is for a few years now.

I'll see if I can figure out what it is.

Gail said...

Again with the disappearing comments! It was clever, too, maybe my best one! I have this weed in my garden...I don't think it's a knotweed the flower looks wrong. BTW that flower seems to morph almost immediately into seed. But I would love to know it's name...that way I can say goodbye to it as I yank it out.

Lisa Blair said...

Here we go... Is it eclipta (false daisy)?

Joanne said...

omg, had to laugh at that sunflower. Some plants will do anything for attention :)

Cindy, MCOK said...

I recognize the weed. It took up residence in the daylily bed and rose bed earlier this year. I've since found it in one of the small beds in back. A pox upon it, I say!

susan harris said...

I'm with you! I'm trying to compile a brief profile and photos of ALL the weeds in my neck of the woods, and here's my start:

Blackswamp_Girl said...

The weeds don't creep me out nearly as much as that sunflower, Carol! lol.

Kylee said...

I've got that weed, too, but I don't know what it is. Thankfully, it's easy to pull out. I've got the sweet clover, too (with the yellow flowers).

Carol said...

Thanks all for the comments! And thanks to Lisa Blair for identifying this weed as False Daisy, Eclipta prostrata

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Anonymous said...

So did you EVER figure out what it was??? And more importantly, how to get rid of it??? I think I have it too. Does your weed have a bulb-type middle underground and then long fingerling roots?