chickweed

Have been attempting to get chickweed seeds to sprout.  UG.

You would think that they would sprout quite readily since they are a weed seed, and invasive in many places, but I’m just not having any luck.  I’ve tried several packs from different sources, and am only getting one or two tiny little plants to sprout out of hundreds of seeds.

chickweed

This last time, I attempted with a pack of seeds from Richter’s, which is a great company and I really appreciate all their hard work.  The package of seeds had a LOT of tiny seeds.  Many.  Hundreds.  I sprinkled them in a planter in my window, in a planter outside in a partially covered seed tray, and also in a small container garden in direct sun in my garden outside.  Above is a picture from their catalog, below is a picture from my garden.

IMG_0283

Only a few seeds sprouted outside and only one seed sprouted inside, or under cover.  I’m wondering if it got too hot, or what.  Probably they will all sprout at once when the weather is just right and I will have a ton of plants growing all over the place.

IMG_0284

I am pretty good at sprouting seeds and these are supposed to be ‘easy’, so, I don’t know.  Above is a picture of some thyme seeds that sprouted quite happily in my window.  I’ll keep working at it.  Below is an apple tree sprout from a pink lady apple.  Apples are not true to seed, but it will still be interesting to see if any of these bear edible fruit.

apple tree sprout

Apparently, it doesn’t like bright light, and prefers cooler temps of early spring for germination.  It’s also a nitrogen scavenger, so it won’t work as a companion crop (which was what I intended to experiment with, oh well.)  It’s still a very nutritious plant, which I intend to grow for personal consumption.

purslane growing as companion crop

In Europe, orchardists encourage it’s growth under their trees for soil conservation, and to stablize moisture and temperature in soil.  I am still considering using it for this purpose, although it may require additional fertilizing.  Trees which had purslane growing under them in my garden grew faster then those which did not have them.

Chickweed is grown as a food crop for people in Bulgaria and as a livestock fodder in Europe.  Perhaps these seeds will all sprout if I simply put the planters in shade.

Germination tips:

  • Bright light reduces germination
  • Sow in top 3/4″ for best germination
  • prefers alkaline soil
  • nitrogen hungry
  • germinates between 2 and 30 degrees Celcius

Bibliography:

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