How to defeat weed purslane?
Purslane is a well-known weed widely spread all over the world, possessing a number of qualities for which all gardeners unanimously hate it. One of them is ineradicability. Purslane is so viable that even one seed can be the beginning of the capture of the site by this weed. To remove a purslane from a garden and a garden, patience, knowledge and accuracy in the implementation of measures to destroy it are required. In this article, we will consider the simplest and most effective methods of destroying a purslane on a site.
What happens to a purslane?
Portulak is a genus of plants of the Portulak family, which unites approximately 100 species of annual herbaceous plants, a significant part of which relates to succulents. In this article, of all the variety of species, we are interested in Purslane garden (Portulaca oleracea), as one of the most common weeds.
On the territory of the Russian Federation, it is found in all regions with a warm climate. Recently, Purslane gardening has been growing successfully in the Non-Chernozem zone. And even in the suburbs, it propagates by self-seeding, despite the harsh winter conditions.
Large portulaca curtains occupy the banks of rivers, open moist areas with sandy loamy soils, quickly spread throughout gardens, fields, and in adjoining territories.
Purslane stalks, 10-40 cm long, fleshy, smooth, roundly cylindrical in shape, can be hollow inside. The color of the stems is reddish brown. Intertwined, they form a multi-branched plant with a creeping shape.
Green leaves with a wax coating and a characteristic wide leaf blade are located opposite (upper) and spiral (lower).
Purslane flowers are sessile, small, solitary, bisexual, located in the axils of the leaves or branching of the stems. Petals of the corolla are only yellow, of different intensities of color, shiny. Flowering is long and covers the period from June to August.
Purslane fruit - polyspermous box, round or slightly elongated. When the seeds ripen, a transverse crack appears in it, through which the seeds disperse through the soil. The fruits ripen in August-September. All aerial parts of purslane have a pronounced sour taste.
Features of the purslanethat made him one of the most malicious weeds:
- One overgrown portulak bush is capable of forming up to 3 million viable seeds per season, which retain germination up to 40 years (despite the miniature size);
- The unripened seeds of the cut purslane are ripened in boxes left on the field, and the next year they give friendly shoots;
- All vegetative parts of purslane have a high ability to root, forming aerial roots on the fractures of leaves, stems, knots (especially if the irrigated area is constantly wet), deepening into the soil;
- Cutting at the soil level of adult specimens provokes the growth of sleeping kidneys (both from the damaged mass of aboveground organs, and those remaining at a depth of 2–3 cm).
Ways to destroy Purslane
Remember! All work on the destruction of purslane must be carried out before flowering. A seedless plant (even with green, half-ripened seeds) will have time to form several next generations in the same year, which will postpone getting rid of the weed for an indefinitely long period.
Effective methods for destroying purslane are agricultural practices that take into account the biological characteristics of the weed.
In regions with a warm, long fall after harvesting and cleaning the field of post-harvest residues, the plot is leveled and watered. If the garden is small, then it is more efficient to pour it with warm (heated) water.
Purslane seeds that are in the 1-3 cm layer quickly and amicably (in 5-7 days) sprout. Seeds occurring at greater depths do not germinate, but are in a viable state for up to 40 years.
Appearing filamentous shoots of purslane are immediately dug up with a turnover of the reservoir. Digging to the depth of half or a whole bayonet of a shovel will destroy all viable seeds that remained not sprouted in the upper 3 cm soil layer and live seedlings.
In the spring of 12-15 days before sowing / planting garden crops, this technique must be repeated. Pour the plot with warm water, emerge seedlings again digging with the turnover of the reservoir, but it can be smaller - to a depth of 10-15 cm.
Please note! To destroy the purslane it is necessary to bury whole plants deeper. Even a small piece of the leaf or stem remaining on the surface of the soil will ensure the growth of a new plant, which will form up to 40 thousand viable seeds within 25-30 days.
Therefore, the destruction of the purslane by loosening with a hoe or cultivation 3-5 cm in depth will not give the effect. On the contrary, it will contribute to even greater propagation of the weed.
Using black film
If the purslane has just begun to populate the site, a good effect is the use of a light-protective film, which covers the site for a long period of time. It can be used throughout the summer period, removing a section of the weed-covered purslane from circulation, or using a film shelter after harvested crops (radishes, salads, onions, greens, etc.).
During the growing season of garden crops, it is effective to use mulching of the soil after planting and watering against purslane. The layer of mulch should be at least 5-6 cm and, if necessary, grow to the desired height.
Single mulching with a thin layer will not give the expected effect. High mulching (with a layer of 5-7-10 cm) can be used after autumn soil preparation and in spring for planting seedlings. Sawdust is used as mulch (not coniferous, they increase the acidity of the soil, which most garden crops cannot tolerate), straw, hay, horse peat, etc.
This method is effective when the purslane has just begun to populate the site (growing in separate bushes). By wet soil, manually take up all the plants of the purslane by hand before flowering with the root, being careful not to damage the aerial part. Collect all broken off vegetative parts of plants (half leaf, individual parts of stems, etc.). Remove weeds from the site and bury or burn deeply.
In recent years, for the destruction of purslane (and a number of other weeds) use autumn or spring sowing of green manure. To destroy purslane, it is effective to sow a mixture of mustard with rapeseed, followed by instillation of these plants. The use of sideration of the site will not only destroy weeds, but will additionally improve the soil and enrich it with organic matter.
Read more about the use of green manure in the articles Which green manure to sow in the fall? and which green manure to sow in the spring?
At home, it is better to use the above methods of killing weed. With timely and thorough agricultural practices, you can clean the area of purslane without the use of pesticides (herbicides). The latter, of course, will free the site not only from purslane, but also from many other species of weeds.
However, according to experienced gardeners, the use of herbicides specifically for the destruction of purslane is ineffective. A wax coating on the leaves and stems of these plants protects them from exposure to chemicals.
If you still decide to use pesticides in your summer cottage, then it is better to use herbicides that have the ability to destroy green weeds during their growing season. Such drugs include Hurricane and Tornado.
Plants treated with a solution (with fine spraying) die within 2–3 weeks. In the soil, these herbicides quickly decompose and do not accumulate. They do not bring harm to the environment (when used as recommended).
Purslane in cooking and medicine
Many summer residents do not know that garden purslane is quite edible and is used in cooking for cooking spicy salads, seasonings for meat dishes, soups, mashed potatoes. This plant is pickled and salted.
And if the use in cooking of dishes from purslane is an amateur, but it has one more use. In folk medicine, Purslane is considered a cure for many diseases since the time of Hippocrates.
Its young leaves and stems contain easily digestible proteins, carbohydrates (glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, etc.), a large list of macrocells, including those vitally important - calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium, as well as trace elements, including: copper, nickel , manganese, zinc iron.
Vitamins A, B, K, PP, E, carotene, ascorbic and nicotinic acids, and other useful organic compounds are found in large quantities in the aerial parts of plants of Purslane. Fatty oils (oleic, linoleic, palmitic, etc.) are found in the seeds.
Such a rich composition of nutrients helps to improve health in diseases of the liver, kidneys, dysentery, vitamin deficiency and scurvy, female diseases of the genitourinary system. Purslane is used as a wound healing and antipyretic, laxative, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antihelminthic agent.
So, if the purslane still does not appear on your site, perhaps it is worth paying attention to it from a different point of view? After all, this plant can not be called completely useless.