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Plant ID help - cover crop

 
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Hey all! Two plants are spreading across my raised beds and I'm thinking of letting it happen as a permanent cover crop. I am attaching a couple photos.

Any ideas what these are?

I want to be sure they aren't gonna cause issues with my vegetables.
photo-1.JPG
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photo-2.JPG
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Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Branch Gordon wrote:Hey all! Two plants are spreading across my raised beds and I'm thinking of letting it happen as a permanent cover crop. I am attaching a couple photos.

Any ideas what these are?

I want to be sure they aren't gonna cause issues with my vegetables.



The first picture is dead nettle. I have it also and let it stay. It is hard to get rid of, but not so bad to plant around being a late winter early spring plant here. I cut off at the base and leave the roots to decompose when I want to clear an area to plant. The honey bees like the flower and it is somewhat edible but we rarely do because it is so fuzzy and not much taste. There is a similar plant called henbit with a different shaped leaf and also edible.

The second one looks like chickweed....excellent ground cover and edible/medicnial. Sometimes ours stays green all winter and we use it in 'green' drinks. It can be really stringy just as a green unless you snip just the very tips. It dies back late spring and is easy to pull from the center of the 'rosette'. I pull them and flip to add to mulch in the beds. Readily reseeds.

For both, be sure you want them before letting them go to seed too many times...there's no going back

See what you find ID wise on line with both of those names before a positive ID though.
 
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Judith Browning wrote:The first picture is dead nettle. I have it also and let it stay. It is hard to get rid of, but not so bad to plant around being a late winter early spring plant here. I cut off at the base and leave the roots to decompose when I want to clear an area to plant. The honey bees like the flower and it is somewhat edible but we rarely do because it is so fuzzy and not much taste. There is a similar plant called henbit with a different shaped leaf and also edible.



I have a lot of these in my "lawn" and though my local wildcrafting group seems very excited about them, I cannot figure out why. They are classic "edible, but why would you?" greens in my book.

They come up early in my garden containers and I tend to leave them alone until planting time. Then I just yank them and drop them as mulch around whatever I am planting. Haven't had any problems from them.
 
Branch Gordon
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Thank you both for your help! I think I am going to let it spread and become a permanent ground cover.
 
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