FUnny, sometimes I wonder if some weeds are good to grow. I've got
some bugs munching down on leafs good, maybe japanese beetles. I've
been looking at the weeds to see if any of them exhibit the damage. If
I found a type the bugs liked I'd let them grow some. I figure the
more targets, the less chance they go for the stuff I really like.
Most of the veggies don't seem to mind a little competition.
I do think it is wise to have trap crops for bugs and grow some things
just for wildlife. I grow extra dill and parsley for buttefly, borage
for bees. I grow onions and garlic hoping they will discourage some
wild animals. They take so long it hardly seems worth it otherwise.
Green onion & garlic seems more gratifying.
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email)
Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound
3rd year gardener
I got a tomcat. He sprays the brush where the rabbits like to hole up.
No more rabbits in my yard!
Here, that would just breed bigger and stronger bugs! :(
I did decide to let the mouseweed grow, tho -- it's a flat
spreading ground cover less than half an inch tall, has tiny pink
and/or white flowers, smells nice, and doesn't do anything bad (no
sticky or spiny seeds, tiny leaves, small but deep roots and will to
some extent reroot if damaged, doesn't need much water, and nothing
Mulch just doesn't stick (dries out too fast and blows away) so I had
the thought that the mouseweed would serve just as well to keep the
soil surface from getting too hot (it gets so hot that it literally
cooks the plants from the bottom up). The mouseweed does seem to help.
I'd think you could use alyssium the same way.
(Mouseweed must have another name, I can't seem to google up the right
plant by that name.)
How about Mouse-eared Chickweed? (Cerastium vulgatum)
Pictures & description at-
I've never tasted them- but I will now. And now three 'weeds' will be
added to my salad as I weed. [I love a bit of Lambs Quarters and
Purslane in my salads-- and like a good big bowl of steamed purslane a
couple times a year.]
I knew about mouse-eared chickweed (you found much better photos than
I did, tho!) but that's not it. This has a flat flower with five round
petals (each with a dark spot at the base), grows in clumped or
trailing colonies, and comes in two distinct varieties:
1) a larger-leaved plant that tends to get leggy and sometimes grows
up a few inches, produces flowers on short stems, and the seed pods
are big enough to see (about 3/16") The leaves are a bit more
elongated. I discourage this variety when I notice it, mainly because
it will climb over the top of other stuff.
2) tiny round leaves and almost-stemless flowers, always stays very
dense and flat to the ground, is readily crowded out by thick grass,
and the seed pods are small as coarse sand. This is the one I've
decided to let grow as a moisture-retainer, and am also using to help
extend my lawn. (The more of the desert soil you can get under shade
and under ground cover, the less water it loses to the air! Native
desert plants are worthless for that purpose as they don't shade the
soil at all.)
Both are hairless, at least to the naked eye.
Remind me and I'll see about putting up some pictures. Maybe someone
knows what they're properly called!
Steamed nettles are supposed to be good too, tho I've never tried 'em.
I have tried dandelions and found them too bitter for my taste.
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