Organic Horticulture in the Mid-Atlantic/Print version 6.16.08-001

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This is a print version for "Organic Horticulture in the Mid-Atlantic", prepared June 16, 2008 by --SB_Johnny | PA!

Chenopodium album (Lamb's quarters)
Lamb's Quarters (Chenopodium album) is an annual invasive weed most commonly found in dry, nitrogen-rich soils. The alternate, somewhat "kite-shaped" leaves have a dusty appearance. Stems are stout, longitudinally ridged, and also whitish. Roots consist of large taproots with numerous laterals.

Pulling and grubbing is relatively easy, since the root and shoot are strongly connected. This plant is safe to compost in cold piles before the flowers appear in summer. Flowers are greenish terminal spikes.

While rarely seen in Mid-atlantic gardens, the culinary grain Quinoa (C. quinoa) is almost indistinguishable from the weed species, so maintenance crews should always be advised if that species is being grown in the garden. Epazote, or Wormseed (Dysphania ambrosioides) is somewhat similar when in flower, but the foliage is markedly different from Lamb's Quarters.

young plant
Oxalis (Woodbines)
The genus Oxalis (Woodbines) contains both native and invasive weedy species that are common throughout the region. Two species are erect annuals, while the third is a creeping perennial.

All species have trifoliate leaves with heart-shaped leaflets. On the annual types the leaves are a pale green, while on the perennial creeping species the leaves are purplish. Flowers are small, yellow, and trumpet-shaped with 5 lobes. Horn-like seed pods soon follow, opening explosively when ripe.

When pulling oxalis, plants should always be put directly into a container (not piled) to avoid broadcasting the seeds. With the exception of very small seedlings, they should never be composted in a cold pile.

The creeping species (O. corniculatus) will regrow from small root fragments, so care must be taken to get the entire root. It can be distinguished from the other species by the purplish cast to the foliage and a lower growing habit rooting at the nodes.

O. stricta
Creeping woodsorrel, O. corniculatus