It’s Worth It To Hand Weed Purslane

Michelle RobertsGardening

wheelbarrow of purl sane

I’m not sure whether purslane enters my garden through the irrigation water or the compost, but it has been bad this year. I noticed it coming up by the thousands in my squash bed. We used a hoe two different times to get rid of the troublesome weed, but to no avail. For some reason I keep thinking if I just get to it while it is still really small, maybe I can beat it. I know better though. While hoeing it up just resulted in planting it all again, I do think that it did cut back by maybe a couple thousand seedlings. Yes it is a daunting weed to have to deal with on a yearly basis.

For those unaware of the benefits as well as the bane of purslane, read my post for more information. What I want to remind fellow gardeners about the vexatious weed, is you need to pull it out by hand if you want to irradicate it from your garden. You must not let any part of the weed; stem, roots, leaves, remain in the soil. They will just propagate into another purslane plant. Don’t throw purslane in your compost pile either. It is good fodder for the chickens, pigs, and cows. Or you could try adding it to your salads (purslane is a common addition to salad in Europe.) But, adding it to your compost pile will result in lots of little purslane plants the next year.

The hours we spend weeding purslane here on the farm is obnoxious. Here is a picture of our squash bed. It was covered in a carpet of purslane. I am weeding a row every day. In time I will conquer the bed and be much better off for having done it. I already have a wheelbarrow full and I’m only halfway there, but I truly believe its worth it to hand weed purslane!