Chickweed. Why won’t deer do us all a favor and eat this plant? It sure looks like salad in our lawns and shrub beds every spring. Chickweed is unusual in that it is a winter growing annual weed that loves rich moist soil (remind us of all the rain we have had this winter and spring?) and continues to grow all winter. Then when warm spring temperatures break, it is one of the first to show up and grow “like a weed”!
This is not unusual. This is Chickweeds finest hour. But in a few weeks or a mowing or two with the lawn mower and you will hardly notice it anymore as the warmer months set in. If you have an abundance of this plant it is a sign that you have a soil richer in nitrogen. Some people find it edible and the whole plant, except the roots, is delicious.
Health Benefits of Chickweed
Deer won’t help out and consume it for us? Consider eating it raw, it is said to taste like corn-on-the-cob. Cooked, it’s more like spinach, or perhaps as a salad vegetable and it is said to be great on sandwiches. Try it like sprouts or with hummus in pita bread. You can also sauté it, it cooks in about 5 minutes but be careful not to overcook it.
Chickweed is said to be a nutritional powerhouse, providing vitamins C, A, D, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin and thiamine, as well as the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, zinc, iron, phosphorus, sodium, copper and silica.