A weed or ground cover?

singingwendyApril 1, 2007

Ok...I know this sounds really ignorant, but I can't figure out what this is! I tried looking at a bunch of "weed sites" online, but I couldn't identify it.

To complicate matters, I attempted to start a ground cover from clippings from my grandmother last year. It never seemed to take, but maybe that's what's coming up. Her ground cover (and she doesn't remember what it's called) also had small white flowers.

So, now I'm really confused and hoping you can help me!

http://photos.gardenweb.com/garden/galleries/2007/04/weed_or_ground_cover.html

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jeannek_NEPA(z5)

I hope it's a weed. I pulled lots out last year.

Jeanne

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 6:38PM
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melissas(z6PA)

I think this is what my mom called chickweed. I have tons of it, and pull it up. It forms mat like roots, so sometimes I have to resort to Round-up. I'd pull it up if I were you. Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 8:08PM
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singingwendy

Thanks!

As I said, I felt really stupid even asking, but it didn't look like the "chickweed" pictures I'd found online.

I've been having a hard time with weeds in this bed, so I wanted to get a good start this year.

I never got to clear this bed the way I really wanted to. The hedge roses I'd ordered came MUCH earlier than I had planned. I was afraid they'd die, so I quickly dug 5 holes and stuck them in. Then I was afraid to put anysort of Roundup or other grass/weed killer down because I thought I'd kill the roses. I just chalk it up as a "I'll never do that again" experience!

Thanks again for your time!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 8:27PM
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earthlydelights(6 pushing 7)

definitely a weed and keep pulling it. this is one that comes up in nice clumps.

here's a great site to ID plenty of weeds we have in this state.

Here is a link that might be useful: PA weeds

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 11:26PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

A weed is just a plant that is growing where you don't want it. If it comes up by itself, it is a wild flower. If it was here before Europeans came, it is a native plant. If it spreads rapidly, it is invasive. One native plant is invasive, northern spice bush (Lindera benzoin), because deer won't eat it.

The USDA has a good website for looking up plants. If you look up chickweed, it lists many different plants, but I didn't see one that looked like this.

Here is a link that might be useful: USDA Plant Database

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 4:11PM
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Pipersville_Carol(z6 Bucks PA)

I think of "weeds" as "volunteers", and let them live if they look pretty and don't crowd out the cultivated neighbors. It's much less work!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 5:12PM
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floragal(z5 PA)

On the plus side, chickweed usually colonizes in moist, rich, neutral soil, and is most luxurious when nitrogen levels are high so you know your soil is good!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 8:34AM
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westhighlandblue(z6 PA)

I have had a great deal of success controlling weeds and the really invasive grass in my yard by putting down a layer of landscaping plastic (the kind with lots and lots of holes) on my ground often right on top of the grass) -- cutting holes -- or running around my plants -- and then putting four inches of cedar mulch on top of that. I keep the plastic in place with landscaper staples which are $10 for a box of 75. A year later I lift up the plastic, work the mulch into the earth, and then put down new plastic and mulch. After two or three years, I stop putting down the plastic, but keep up with the mulch. By this time, the plants grow so large that weeks simply don't have room to grow.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 8:45AM
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singingwendy

Thanks again for all the responses!

"The USDA has a good website for looking up plants. If you look up chickweed, it lists many different plants, but I didn't see one that looked like this."

You don't know how much better this made me feel! I thought I was missing something! Does chickweed tend to start in "rosettes"?? Because that's how this starts.

I think, that along with not really clearing all the weeds from this bed originally as much as I'd have liked to, I didn't put down enough mulch last year. I have a VW bug and could only bring home so many bags at a time! LOL! I was considering looking at having a place deliver some to me this year, but I'm not sure where I'd put it. I'm only in a townhouse, so I don't have tons of space.

"On the plus side, chickweed usually colonizes in moist, rich, neutral soil, and is most luxurious when nitrogen levels are high so you know your soil is good!"

The roses I have growing in this bed I literally do NOTHING to...except cut a few for display and dead head the spent flowers.....and they are beautiful! I was told that the previous owners had a rose bed there too, and they always did well.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 12:05PM
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scrappyjack

could it be purselane or crown vetch?

Jackie

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 3:24PM
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bezbeads

This is definitely a weed. It is in the mustard family as someone earlier guessed (four petals, cruciform shape, compound leaves) and will seed itself prolifically. It resembles garlic mustard which is a noxious weed around Pgh. chickweed has paired petals and smaller leaves.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 11:54PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Portulaca oleracea (Common Purslane, also known as Verdolaga, Pigweed, Little Hogweed or Pusley) is a succulent with characteristic red stems which this plant didn't have. It is a vegetable and a weed. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portulaca_oleracea

The mustard family is huge family with around 90 members in the US. One mustard in particular slightly resembles this plant. It is Nasturtium officinale, watercress. There are several watercresses. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_cress

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 5:24PM
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hoehum(z6 PA)

There are two A-something plants (both called Rock Cress) that bloom in spring and are low growing ground covers similar to chickweed. both are sort of 'grey-green' foliage

One is Aubrieta which, I think, is the prettier of the two. It comes in white though I've only seen the pink or purple. It spreads somewhat but, in my yard, barely enough to survive.

Another is Arabis. My mother gave me some of hers 10+ years ago. It is a pretty white blanket in May and does like to spread out but is easy to pull. I knew (from her garden) that it was fairly invasive so I put one bunch in a shady spot and another in the back corner of my yard where I stick all of the pretty invasives. They keep each other in check, each taking their turn to shine.

In case you have either of these, I sure hope you didn't pull them all out. Google images of these.

Here is a link that might be useful: Arabis

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 10:52PM
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busylizzy(z5 PA)

the best weed site:
WWW.weedalert.com

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 1:43PM
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eibren(z6PA)

Apparently chickweed has some value as an herb; you might want to look it up and spare some if that is what it is.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 12:21AM
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sireneh(3)

I found this thread when I Googled chickweed. I plan to grow it between stones in a natural pathway we recently built. I think it is just lovely.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 1:17AM
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