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I need to know what this weed is and how to get rid of it

(19 Posts)
WellTidy Mon 09-May-16 12:08:29

Thank you, I will get that. I am already enjoying Monty and Nigel on a Friday night! This is a whole new me.

shovetheholly Mon 09-May-16 11:51:38

It feels a bit overwhelming at first, especially when something that's a bit of a PITA moves in like that! But honestly, it gets a lot easier as you get to know the garden. Every patch of soil has its own problems and joys. You will prevail!

On virtually every other thread grin I recommend Alan Titchmarsh's How to be a Gardener. It's a really good introduction, and getting it on DVD means you can watch him doing stuff rather than reading about him doing stuff, which is much easier. I don't even like Titchmarsh, but I think it's one of the best intros I've seen,

WellTidy Mon 09-May-16 11:39:04

Thanks very much for that info. I had no idea. Having a garden that requires maintenance and vigilance is all new to me, so I am learning lots.

I will have to be more vigilant in March and April I think. At least now I know what I'm looking for, having pulled it up for hours this weekend.

shovetheholly Mon 09-May-16 11:15:35

You will see it coming back up, and the key thing is to dig it up again immediately! You don't want to let it photosynthesize with leaves, because it's storing energy when it does that! Regular hoeing of the bare soil will remove young seedlings before they become a huge issue. Or you could use a flame thrower grin.

Glyphosphate causes harm to animals and ecosystems (it's lethal to water-based ones), which is why I don't like it. Use of weedkillers allows the emergence of resistant weeds, and there are increasing numbers of plant diseases linked to glyphosphate use (because of the way it affects metal chelation). It also remains active within the ground for a long time, with increasing evidence that it disrupts microbiology of the soil, and gets into the food chain. If all that wasn't enough, it's also listed as a probable carcinogen to humans by the WHO.

WellTidy Mon 09-May-16 10:32:53

Thanks shove. I should have taken photos of the whole garden, I think, so that I would remember exactly where it was before I started pulling it. As it is so prolific, I can't remember exactly where it was! It just seems to be everywhere.

There is a huge patch that I could use weedkiller on, as there is nothing growing there, but what is it about glyphosphate that you don't like? Complete novice here.

shovetheholly Mon 09-May-16 10:06:26

I think with any invasive weed, you need to go back and back and back. Eventually, you will weaken it and it will stop appearing everywhere. But it is a war of attrition that requires weekly vigilance, and not a one-off battle that can simply be won. That's even the case if you crack open chemicals like glyphosphate (which you can buy in a paste that gets spread onto leaves with a brush instead of a spray). Weedkiller will weaken it significantly (and something like glyphosphate will work down to those roots), but you'll still need to watch out for its return and stay on top of it. Personally, I'm not a fan of the stuff, though.

WellTidy Sun 08-May-16 20:42:11

I've googled to try and identify the pain in the behind of a weed in my garden, and this thread came up. There is masses of what I now understand is green alkanet all over my garden, absolutely everywhere. I cannot dig it up, there is just way, way too much if it. And it is in the beds, so I can't spray it and be sure of not getting the spray in other plants and shrubs. Is it enough to pull it?

bubblesinthesky Thu 09-May-13 15:44:54

Another question for you knowledgeable people

Ive pulled some roots out and got the thick root which then broke but I got then I got a long thin tube bit as if I've pulled out the very middle of the root and left the outer casing in the ground IYSWIM. Does this sufficiently destroy the root or do I need to keep digging?

suspect I know the answer so will buy some more spades grin

bubblesinthesky Wed 08-May-13 22:24:57

I'll carry on digging. Shame its just flowered again.

I really can't believe the size of some of the roots. unfortunately I've broken some of them. My plan is to dig everything out then dig the bed two or three times again to get out as much root as I can. Its not helped by the fact my neighbour has a huge ash tree in her garden which self seeds lots of little trees into the bed amongst the alkanet.

Its going to be an ongoing battle I think

PlasticLentilWeaver Wed 08-May-13 22:23:43

Awful stuff, bloody loads of it round here. Failed miserably to get rid, despite digging and digging and it is the only thing I've ever tried glyphosphate on, still without success.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 08-May-13 22:18:47

The reason there's so much alkanet about is that people mistake it for borage, think it'll be useful for Pimms, and then allow it to self-seed all over the place.

FloresCircumdati Wed 08-May-13 22:05:51

That link looks a bit like borage to me which has its uses.

Rhubarbgarden Wed 08-May-13 21:16:49

It's a bastard. Keep digging. Eventually you will get rid of any regenerating from root fragments this way. But you will still get new ones appearing every year from the seed stock in the soil. Young ones, however, are easier to pull up. On no account let them flower and replenish the seed stock in the soil. Glyphosate kills them if you coat all the leaves thoroughly.

You have my heartfelt sympathy. I have spent many years battling this stuff.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 08-May-13 18:10:39

Sounds very much like alkanet. Digging it out is your best bet - don't try to pull it out, as any broken roots will regenerate - or try glyphosate-based weedkiller.

bubblesinthesky Wed 08-May-13 18:08:06

Thank you it looks exactly like green alkenet. Beastly stuff.

So now I know what it is does anyone have any hints on getting rid of it please? I dug some up this afternoon and the roots were nearly as thick as my wrist. its horrendous

FoulOleRon Wed 08-May-13 14:25:37


FloresCircumdati Wed 08-May-13 14:24:08

Your link doesn't work, Ron...

bubble, can we have a photo?

FoulOleRon Wed 08-May-13 14:19:50

It sounds like Green Alkanet . I have it too and could do with some top tips for getting rid of it! I try and spot it when it's small and pulls up easily, but other than that I've had no success.

bubblesinthesky Wed 08-May-13 13:53:19

I will try to describe the blasted thing. I inherited a garden full of it and after 2 years heavy digging and weed killers I still have a whole bed I simply can not get free from it. Its not the odd on coming up its masses every time sad

Its got large broad leaves which are slightly hairy. The hair stings and sticks into skin. It has very pretty blue flowers which look like forget me nots but aren't - slightly darker blue I think. The roots remind me of dandelion roots. In the case of this very mature weed plantation they are very long, very thick and very hard to dislodge.

I've never seen them before and I'm sick of them. I sometimes think if I'd known how much I'd spend on weedkiller I'd have offered £10k less for the house grin

Any help much appreciated thank you

PS I am a rubbish gardener so a bit nervous of posting in the gardening section please be gentle with me

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