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Gardening should be something that you do to feel relaxed and at peace after a long day or week at work. But the problem comes in the form of different weeds such as purslane weeds, which will only end up making gardening a frustrating task. That’s because these weeds are not only bad to look at but are also difficult to get rid of as they usually come back quickly. So, how do you get rid of purslane weeds?
The best way to get rid of purslane weeds is by pulling the mature plants and then using herbicide to prevent them from coming back. If you don’t want to use herbicide, pull the plant while it is still young and before it produces seeds. Make sure to pull the entire plant and its roots when doing so.
Even though purslane weeds aren’t entirely dangerous plants as they don’t pose any harm, they are still not the best-looking plants to have around your garden. As such, it should be a good idea for any garden enthusiast to keep purslane weeds away from the garden so that the entire aesthetics won’t be ruined by pesky weeds that seemingly don’t know when to quit.
What is a purslane weed?
Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies in the world today as many people retreat to their gardens after a long day at work or after spending a stressful week. That’s because gardening can be a very therapeutic hobby to do especially if you notice that your plants are actually growing well and beautifully. This is why people all over the world want to take up gardening not only for therapeutic purposes but also to have a beautiful home full of amazing plants.
Then again, when it comes to gardening, one of the problems that can arise is the weeds. Gardening is supposed to be therapeutic but the weeds that will only grow back over and over again will end up annoying and frustrating anyone. From being a therapeutic and relaxing hobby, gardening can be stressful due to weeds. And purslane weeds are some of the more annoying types of weeds you can find in any garden.
Purslane weeds, which are also called portulaca, are annual weeds that are more likely to grow during the summer. These weeds start germinating in spring or early summer and will begin to see their height during the middle of the summer before dying during the winter. However, left-behind seeds that survived the winter will begin to grow during the spring once again.
If you don’t know what purslane weeds look like, they actually come with teardrop leaves and have yellow flowers with five petals. They also have purple or red stems that you will be able to see growing laterally across your garden.
The annoying part about purslane weeds is that, even when you cut them out or pull them from the soil, these plants are so stubborn to the point that even a small part of their stem or leaves will be enough for them to once again re-root and grow into mature plants. And mature purslane weeds can produce around 50,000 seeds that will only grow to become new weeds. This is why purslane weeds are so frustratingly annoying and are quite aggressive.
Are purslane weeds dangerous?
Now, when it comes to purslane weeds and their effects on you, these plants are completely safe and are actually edible. Eating purslane weeds will never pose any dangers to you or your pets as you can eat them cooked or raw. They even come with a flavor that is surprisingly similar to spinach especially when you pick the leaves while they are still very young.
However, the problem with purslane weeds is not that they are dangerous (because they aren’t). Instead, the issue that gardeners have with these weeds is that they tend to grow and spread fast enough throughout an entire garden to the point that they may steal some of the nutrients reserved for your other plants.
The fact that purslane weeds grow quickly and are actually succulents that store water in their leaves is what annoys different gardeners because they may end up with unhealthy plants due to the spread of purslane weeds. As such, it is important for you to make sure that you get rid of purslane weeds quickly enough before they dominate a section of your garden. And when purslane weeds dominate a part of your garden, expect the plants in that area to look dry and unhealthy.
How to get rid of purslane weeds?
So, now that you know what purslane weeds are and why you should get rid of them, we now have to talk about how to actually get rid of these pesky plants so that you will have a healthy and happy garden.
The thing you need to know is that a purslane weed infestation usually starts out from one weed that spreads its seeds out to a wide area. So, if you know how to control that single weed, you will be able to stop purslane weeds from taking over the garden. However, you should also know that purslane weeds need a meticulous approach on your part to prevent any part of the plant from surviving.
Hand-pulling the plant is the traditional approach to removing purslane weeds. However, it is not always recommended because of how hand-pulling it can leave behind small parts of the purslane weed that can still re-root itself and grow into a mature plant. That said, if you don’t want to use herbicides, here is how you hand-pull purslane weeds:
- Do it while the weed is still young and is yet to produce seeds.
- Find the rosette and make sure that you pull the plant firmly from there so that you will end up taking the entire plant together with all of its roots.
- Place the pulled purslane weeds inside an airtight bag that will prevent them from spreading their seeds.
- Once you have pulled the weeds, checked the area where you pulled them to make sure that there are no leftover roots, stems, or leaves that can still develop into mature purslane weeds.
But the most effective way to deal with purslane weeds is to use an herbicide that is also used with common weeds. The problem here is that, if you are growing edible plants and vegetables, you will have a problem when the herbicide gets to those plants. Nevertheless, here are some tips when you are using herbicide for purslane weeds:
- Use the abovementioned method for pulling purslane weeds from your garden.
- Spray any purslane weed seedlings using 2,4-D herbicide, which is known for being an effective weed killer.
- After that, use pre-emergent herbicide on the spots where you pulled the purslane weeds. This will make sure that the weeds won’t end up growing back from the spots where they were pulled.
Those methods we mentioned are not fail-safe by any means but they are the most effective ways for dealing with purslane weeds. There will still be a chance for these weeds to grow back and re-occur. However, as long as you deal with them properly, the chances will be minimal at best.
Does purslane come back?
Yes. they come back and in some cases, they can throw their seeds some distance away from the mother plant. Making them grow in other areas of the garden. It also can re-root or form new plants if not disposed of properly.
Because even after uprooting it, purslane seeds can continue to mature and form new roots. It is not enough to use a plant extractor garden tool. You have to pick up every piece of the weed from the soil and throw it in a plastic garbage bag as waste.
How did purslane get in my garden?
Common purslane is an abundant seeder. A single plant can produce 240, 000 seeds and can germinate even after 5 to 40 years. This type of weed is a persistent one. That is why they are now quite common around the world.
It spreads fast in any type of garden or piece of land. It germinates on the soil surface or in large numbers after rain or irrigation. As mentioned, they can actually throw their seeds far from the mother plant and infest many other parts of your garden.
You might encounter this type of weed in your garden if your garden is prone to having water on it. Rain can produce a moist environment for this weed and if an irrigation system is nearby.
Is it safe to eat purslane?
Though it is a weed, purslane is 100% edible. This succulent plant contains about 93% water, quite similar to cabbages. It has long red stems and small green leaves.
It has a sweet, slightly sour, and salty taste, close to the taste of spinach and watercress. It is excellent for salads and sandwiches and can blend well with salad herbs. In other countries, It also used in soups and stews as a thickener.
And also recommendable for stir-frying.
In the United States, this weed is a minor crop used in ethnic ways of cooking. Other cultures call it by different names. It is commonly known as verdolaga in Spanish.
It is khorfeh in Iran and fattoush in Lebanese. It is also found in Persian dishes.
Known to have plenty of health benefits, it has lots of beta-carotene and contains Omega-3 fatty acids. Also has antioxidants, vitamins, and amino acids.
Purslane contains the highest concentration of vitamin A among green leafy vegetables. It also has vitamin C and B-complex. It provides magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, and calcium nutrients.
It has small traces of folate, copper, and phosphorus. Not only is this plant edible it is richly packed with lots of nutritional benefits as well. This green plant has only 16 calories.
Journal of Medicinal Food published research about purslane weed. Saying that ingesting purslane extract significantly helps to reduce high blood pressure. It also improves glucose control. Researchers confirmed that purslane extract is a safe treatment for people who have type 2 diabetes.
Some purslane variations grow upright and have much larger leaves for commercial value. It is available in local stores as a vegetable because of its nutritional qualities.
Are all purslane edible?
Parts like leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds of purslane are all edible. You can leave out the roots and not eat them like using green onions. You can cut the leaves and stems like regular vegetables.
Who should not eat purslane?
Common purslane is purely edible. But you must be careful in identifying purslane in your backyard if you want to eat it. Some weeds that might look like purslane are toxic and dangerous to digest.
If you want to grow purslane in your garden to eat, I recommend that you do not use any herbicide or chemical fertilizers. If you want to eat purslane and be safe, you can buy edible purslane at your local store.