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I have been inundated with chick weed brought in in bags of bought compost, I know this as being right as I used to tend my Aunties window box with the same make soil and the window box in no time was smothered in chick weed.
Chickweed is edible. I use it as a basis for salads throughout the year. In fact, it is only really absent from my garden in January. The flavour is bland (similar to lettuce) and it will save you a fortune in salad leaves. It is also better for you. The young seedlings or tips of older plants are best.
I belive the best way to get rid of chick weed is to pull them with the roots and take it to the tip .That way the seeds dont fall back in the beds and regrow .
Please can anyone HELP one off my plants is being taken over with ants what can I use to kill them off that will not kill my plant don't know what it is called was given to me in a pot now in the garden as been for a few years

Paul, ants don't eat plants but do feed off a sticky liquid that aphids exude when feeding off of the sap.  Get rid of the aphids and the ants will have no reason to climb your plant.



Paul, if you tag your query onto the end of someone else's, people with expertise in ants will not know it's there.

Start your own thread by clicking on the "Create New Thread" near the top right of the page, title it appropriately and someone helpful will be more likely to see it and answer. 

You can also cook chickweed like a spinach leaf when young - it can get fibrous when older - and it works well added to a curry. Hand weeding is an endless task, but removing the bulk with a hoe lasts for a while. I keep a plastic compost bin with a sheet of plastic below it specifically for pernicious weeds. Don't know when or if I'll dare to use any compost from it, but they reduce down and are at least contained. A thick layer of grass cuttings helps to blanket out light and air. So far no escaping nettles, bindweed, ground elder, dandelions... The one plant I don't put in there is horsetail. It goes in the bin.
Susan Giles

Oh Danny, it sounds like your garden shares the same joyful weeds as mine, with the exception that I (thankfully) don't have any horsetail, but it is a menace so I sympathise. Weird as it might sound, I find weeding ground elder extremely satisfying particularly in late spring when the ground is still open enough to pull the fibrous roots through. At least nettles can be useful for the pollinators!! Sadly I can't bring myself to feel the same about ivy which drives me nuts.

We have the same problem brought into our garden in 2011/12 in compost purchased from a garden centre. It is choking all the seedlings we plant.  As if there wasn't enough weeding to do already!! Really annoying.

Are these plants (willowherb, chickweed, fat hen)ok in a wildlife garden? We converted our back lawn into a wildlife garden a couple of years ago & try to keep the local wildflowers established in it.

Elephant hawkmoth caterpillars eat willow herb. I think it depends on your garden and your tastes. I love to have the wildflowers and all the wildlife that goes with them. Some prefer something more controlled. Each to his/her own


Hi David. Is that a selfie

In all the time I've been doing moth traps and seen numerous elephant hawkmoths I have never seen one of these in the garden

Many moons ago when I worked for MAFF (DEFRA now) 2 small boys brought an Elephant Hawk moth Caterpillar into our office as they thought it might be something nasty like Colerado beetle and were a bit disapointed when I said it wasn't. 

I kept 'Hannibal'  in a large jar, well fed on Rosebay Willow herb and eventually he morphed into the fantastic moth as per nutcutlets photo. I waited until his wings had dried out then released him into the offices grounds.


Katherine W

Chickweed is delicious... use it like spinach, steamed with butter and sprinkle of lemon juice, with scrambled eggs. If you have chickens/ducks, they love the stuff, so you may not have any left to go with the scrambled eggs...


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