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Often underestimated or even labeled as unwelcome weeds, the filigree Ackerhellerkraut shows interested hobby gardeners from a very useful side. On the one hand, the plant, which grows up to 40 centimeters tall, serves numerous insects as a fertile food source. And also in our kitchen, the family belonging to the family of the Kreuzblütengewächse enhances seasonal food. In the biodiversity of wild and wet meadows, the versatile plant should not be missed. The field-light herb is robust and extremely easy-care.
CharacteristicsThe field light cabbage is an upright growing plant. At first glance, it is all too often confused with the shepherd's purse. The characteristic round-oval, light green cotyledons gave the greenhouse its name. Thiaspiarvense L. - the botanical name - has broad to oval-shaped primary leaves, which lie flat on the ground. These form often in the form of a rosette in the fall, only in the following spring appear the elongated and slightly serrated, arrow-shaped follower leaves. The yellow-green, angular stems of the Kreuzblütengewächses has an upright habit.
- Annual plant with a height of 10 to 40 centimeters.
- The white sepals have a rounded, elongated wedge shape.
- Between April and September, the inconspicuous white flowers appear.
Location and groundThe herb, also known as Acker-Täschelkraut and Ackertäschel, is an almost inconspicuous plant. Only on closer inspection opens up to the viewer the filigree beauty of the Kreuzblütengewächses. The closely related to the shepherd's purse herb plant is often found on roadsides and field edges. With full shady locations Ackerhellerkraut does not cope at all. On the other hand, preference is given to fully sunny to very sunny places. Thiaspi arvense is widespread throughout Central Europe and also in some parts of Asia. The plant thrives particularly well in a humus-rich, loose substrate. However, the plant is extremely robust and can also cope with other soil conditions. To sandy soil, you should upgrade with larger amounts of clay. In the own garden you can cultivate the one-year medicinal plant successfully in wet meadows.
Pouring and fertilizingThe traditional wild vegetables should not be missing in any natural garden and you will not mind if you just leave it to yourself. In midsummer, you can adequately water the entire green area in the early evening or early morning using a water blaster. The wet meadows, in which the Ackerhellerkraut prefers flourish, however, require much less care than a decorative grass. Immediately after the last meadow cut in autumn, you should fertilize the soil sufficiently with compost or diluted nettle. This creates ideal growth conditions for the field cabbage.
In the bed you proceed in a similar way: A high proportion of loam in the soil can store moisture for a long time and release it to the roots. To sandy soil, however, must be poured and fertilized more frequently. Fieldhell grass reacts sensitively to large-growth plants and often comes in the competition for water and sunlight the short straw. But the opposite can also be the case. Especially on sunflower fields, the cruciferous plant can quickly become a troublesome plague. Herbicides show little effect in combating, because the roots of the plant can protrude up to 50 centimeters deep into the soil.
Propagate and sow
Thiaspi arvense is a mostly annual, rarely biennial plant. If the plant feels good at the selected location, it tends to be self-seeding. A plant can produce 500 to 2000 seeds, which are able to survive in the soil for up to 30 years. Immediately after the seed has ripened in autumn, it spreads over the substrate over a large area. With warm temperatures it is not uncommon for the first young plants to germinate in the same year and form a leaf rosette. If you would like to sow field hellebore, you should remove the seeds directly from the plant. Gently remove the whole herb or wrap the pods with the ripe seeds with a tissue before removing them together with the pod.
With no further pretreatment, you could seed directly at the selected location. Increase the germination capacity by treating the soil first. Plant and root remains are removed and the substrate is enriched with larger amounts of compost. Another option is to let the seeds dry in a cool place and sow them between mid-February to the end of March.A cultivation on the windowsill is not necessary at the Kreuzblütengewächs. The Ackertäschel is one of the cold germinating plant species. Therefore, put the seeds in the refrigerator for two or three weeks before sowing.
To cutA classic form and pruning must not be made in this herbaceous growing plant. Wet meadows are mowed only 3 to 5 times a year. So that the field light herb receives the possibility of seed formation, you should not completely mow the meadow, but leave some edges untouched. The plant is widely used in folk medicine for a variety of diseases and ailments. In the form of wild vegetables, you can enhance your food in a culinary way. Use sharp scissors to cut off the entire plant near the ground or tweak the young leaves with your fingernail.
overwinterThe native plant usually grows only once a year and dies in the same year after the onset of the first frost. Ackerheller herb, which germinates in autumn, usually overwinters as a leaf rosette close to the ground. The up to 40 centimeters high-growing stems with the all around arranged leaves develops only in the following year. Special arrangements for the winter need not be made. Icy temperatures even increase the germination capacity of seeds resting in the soil. Take advantage of the frost-free days in October to prepare the soil sufficiently for the coming gardening season. Mow the grass and leave the cut parts of the plant lying. This layer decomposes slowly and supplies the soil with important nutrients and minerals. At the same time, the seeds of many plant species can ripen and exhale in spring intensified.
DiseasesThe plant is closely related to the cabbage species and is considered robust. At the same time it is a nursery for a variety of useful insects. The larvae of the rare Aurora era, for example, have specialized in the consumption of Kreuzblütengewächsen. But even pests such as earth fleas do not stop at the tasty leaves of the Ackerhellerkrauts. An infestation of the small beetle species is most likely to be recognized by the typical pitting on the leaves. You can take the following measures to stop the pests:
- Healthy plants take little damage from the insects.
- Do not cultivate field hellebore in close proximity to vegetable and fruit plants.
- Take a diluted brew of field horsetails or stinging nettles.