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Garden euphorbias (like euphorbia peplus)  RSS feed

 
pollinator
Posts: 1721
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Which euphorbias do you have as weeds in your garden?

I have a lot of euphorbia peplus and it is a problem because it poisons guinea pigs or rabbits to death, and it can be among edible plants for salads.

Here is what I know about the plant and my tips to deal with it.

So I have decided to weed it off.... Then I am at least nearly safe for the season, and limit the seeds spreading.  It takes time, some might think it is crqzy to do this.... but what I do brought me very interresting side effects... I have become able to SEE the plant even if i do not look for it. Sometimes I just FEEL the alert and I look better and I find it.
So it means that it was visible to my unconscious eyes!
I have been practising in general with plants for a long time, as I love identification. It is just incredible how much I have developped my capacity to distinguish the same plant in different stages of development, and I can even recognize the specific color from a distance.

My tips:

Know the plant:
They grow by patch and when you find one, look for others They love to be near stones or under big leaves for shade. They grow from the mother plant where it died, obviously. Then they are also carried by shoes, as I have noted them near paths. They also go down with gravity. They do not seem to be carried by either wind nor fur. Their life cycle is quite short, like 2 months, so hurry up before the seeds.
Snails eat it, and then the cut stem will grow 2 side branches.

Weed:
I have learned so far that they regrow if only cut and need to be uprooted or cut very near the ground. I weed with 2 hands, 1 to take the top, and the 1 goes down to the ground following the stem, even between grasses. The grown plant is often bent, so it avoids cutting the stem.
They also can re-root and they can finish their seeds after cutting them.
So I put them in a bucket with water to make them rot. But they float and grow! They need a weight over.

Safe grass harvest for animals:
When I collect grass, I do so with a sharp blade and look at the cut handfull of tight grass together, so that I can see any drop of white milk. It is still dangerous with very small plants, and the quantity of sap seem to vary a little with the moon. So the other trick is to know roughly how tall they are developped at the beginning of the season, and cut above this size.  
It is not safe to pull the plants for food, as a piece of milkweed can be pulled together.

Confusions:
It depends how experienced you are, but I would say that you have to be careful in the middle of stelaria media if you pull a lot at the same time.
Its taste is only mildly bitter and is not puting off...
 
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