oregano and chickenweed

Asked February 7, 2020, 2:09 PM EST

What do you recommend that I do about chickenweed crowding out and killing oregano ? Last year a weed growing in my oregano planter crowed out and killed most of the oregano. I sent you a photo of it and you identified the weed as chickenweed. I pulled all of the chickenweed out of the planter to enable the oregano to grow. However, there is a lot of this chickenweed growing in my yard and it now is crowding out and killing the oregano again. I do not have another place to which to move the planter. Should I pullout the chickenweed again and saturate the planter with orageno seed in spring or do I have to take all of the existing soil out of the planter, put in new soil purchased from a plant nursery, and transplant the remaining oregano in the now soil? If I do the latter chickenweed seed from the yard may just contaminate the new soil. Maybe I should buy enough oregano starter plants to fill the planter and also saturate the planter with oregano seed. What do you suggest? Are there any other alternatives?

Charles County Maryland

1 Response

The weed that you are referring to is chickweed. There are several types. It is a winter annual. Seed germinates in the fall and seed is dispersed in spring. The seed can remain viable up to 10 years. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/common-chickweed

We recommend that you remove the chickweed by handpulling or use a hoe. You did not mention how large your planters are. If the planters are large raised beds, you can about an inch of fresh compost on top of the existing soil. If the planters are small, you can take out the top four inches of soil and add a soilless mix. It may be easiest to plant transplants. If you seed, it may be difficult to determine the weeds versus the oregano germinating. Consider a mulch to keep the weeds down.
(Examples: 2 to 4 inches of grass clippings, finished compost, or newspaper covered with straw or shredded leaves.)bed with a thin layer of shredded leaves to keep the weeds down.)