Horrible cress-like weed. How to get rid?

(18 Posts)
Orangeanddemons Thu 14-Apr-16 15:41:04

I got rid of it all on Sunday. It's all over my garden again. It looks like cress, and then grows into a plant that has little white flowers on it.

How do I eradicate completely?

handslikecowstits Thu 14-Apr-16 17:26:22

Is it hairy bittercress? www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=782

In my experience, the wetter the soil (i.e. more clayey) the worse the problem is so the long term solution is to improve drainage by adding organic matter to the soil and getting rid of it BEFORE it flowers so it can't set seed.

Hairy bittercress is also edible. It tastes like watercress.

ouryve Thu 14-Apr-16 17:38:23

The only way to eradicate completely is to kill everything! The seeds get everywhere, so get rid of what's there before the flowers turn to seed pods, as it has a very short lifecycle.

Ferguson Thu 14-Apr-16 20:59:17

But it does pull out quite easily when it is small - Yes, don't let it set seed - they can POP! all over the place.

GreenMarkerPen Thu 14-Apr-16 21:01:03

it's so easy and satisfying to pull out.

Orangeanddemons Fri 15-Apr-16 07:31:30

Thats the stuff. But it is so densely covered in one area. Will hoeing do it? I read somewhere about putting a 6" layer of bark over the soil. But won't that kill off any plants wanting to come through too?

Orangeanddemons Fri 15-Apr-16 08:14:01

Or do I have to pull out every individual little fucker?

Orangeanddemons Fri 15-Apr-16 08:14:53

And the soil is wet because it never seems to stop rainingsad

Ferguson Fri 15-Apr-16 20:46:15

You can hoe it out, but you will need to pick up the bits, and keep at it otherwise it can come back.

shovetheholly Sun 17-Apr-16 09:26:09

I had this everywhere last year. It is a plague on wet soils.

Get it out and particularly do not let any of it flower or set seed and you'll be on top of it really quickly. Do a thorough job of the weeding then mulch thickly as this really holds it back for a bit. It will keep germinating but it can be managed once the first big battle is won!!

Orangeanddemons Sun 17-Apr-16 09:32:43

I've attacked it with the hoe for 3 days in a row, and pulled out any random ones. Going in for another battle today.

As it was snowing here yesterday, I'm sure the soil won't have dried out. It wasn't like this last yearsad.

Please talk to me about mulching. If I put something down, won't it stop the actually to growing too.? They are just starting to come through.

TheNoodlesIncident Mon 18-Apr-16 22:32:32

And unfortunately hairy bittercress actually germinates and grows at much lower temperatures than other weeds. So it gets a head start when you think there won't be anything growing yet. The evilness of it!

Mulch won't stop things growing, but the weed seeds will lie dormant until the soil is disturbed and spring up again. So never let that hoe rest... Mulch up to plants, but don't cover them over with it.

shovetheholly Tue 19-Apr-16 07:28:24

Most plants will punch through mulch- bulbs are completely undeterred- but I usually leave a little gap if I know exactly where a hardy perennial is. Obviously don't mulch on top of anything evergreen and low growing or you may set it back!

It is cold and wet this March/April, so you are probably right about the soil not being as dry as in previous years. We seem to have mild, very wet Jan/Febs now, but then a cold snap so spring doesn't get going until May sad and then ends in September when the incessant rain starts again. Worst of all worlds!

shovetheholly Tue 19-Apr-16 07:29:08

Oh, and as noodles said, this stuff is a nightmare for springing up again, but with constant vigilance, you can win!

DoreenLethal Tue 19-Apr-16 07:35:32

Please talk to me about mulching. If I put something down, won't it stop the actually to growing too.?

A - if you have a garden then learn to be accepting of your weeds. Little plants like this are invaluable for bees to get early season nectar esp when so many people have lawns everywhere and a lack of early flowering plants.

B - No, mulching with something like bark means that annual weeds don't get the light and won't germinate but perennials which just die back will still be able to grow through.

C - Bittercress is really one of the nicest 'weeds'. Pick the leaves and use them in salads instead of rocket. Thank your lucky stars you don't have one of the perennial weeds that need digging up and try and take over the world overnight.

GreenMarkerPen Tue 19-Apr-16 08:00:15

if you have chickens or know one who has, they love the stuff and apparently it's great for egg flavour and yolk colour.

Lighteningirll Tue 19-Apr-16 08:09:22

What an interesting thread I have a lot of this weed in my very heavy clay soil, last year it was rampant in the cleared area, less so in the cleared and mulched. It is easy enough to pull out in the first round of battle but I am really hoping I didn't put it in the compost bin. Am very excited that I can eat it in salad, my first baby leaf salad crop is ready in the greenhouse so that's lunch sorted

Orangeanddemons Tue 19-Apr-16 20:54:40

But how can l be accepting of plants which cover the entire surface of the garden! It was like a lush thick carpet of cress weeds, you couldn't even see the soil.

I was thinking along the lines of a nuclear attack rather than acceptance!grin

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