How to win the weed war

14 common garden invaders and the best ways to control them

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Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

Not to be confused with the large-flowered ornamental purslane sold in nurseries (the 'Wildfire' strain, variously ascribed to Portulaca oleracea, P. umbraticola, and P. grandiflora), weedy purslane is a low-growing summer annual found throughout the country.

It thrives in moist conditions but can withstand considerable drought. Its fleshy, dark green leaves are edible, with a tart, lemony flavor.

Purslane is easy to pull or hoe. But pieces of stem can reroot readily, so be sure to remove them from the garden. Also remove plants that have begun to flower, since they can ripen seed even after they've been pulled. Don't compost any part of the plant.

Purslane can also be naturally controlled with solarization

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