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Ground elder

(12 Posts)
LizH88 Sun 16-Apr-17 22:50:39

After leaving my garden to become an overgrown jungle for 10 years 😳I've decided to tackle it once and for all.
My lawn is easily 2% grass 98% weeds. A massive infestation of dandelions and what I now know is ground elder 😔 My aim is to reseed the whole lawn but I'm concerned now my efforts (weed and feed work-working very well) and round up spot killing dandelions is going to be pointless. The ground elder is not in one area it has taken over every inch of the garden.
I'm wondering how to tackle it? I've heard it strangles plants does it have the same effect on grass seed?
Help!

JT05 Mon 17-Apr-17 00:24:44

Commiserations, it's probably one of the worst weeds to get rid of, sorry.
It spreads through its roots, so every inch has to be got rid of. I don't know how you would do it chemically.
I have a small patch where I dig up the roots and then put weed killer on any remaking leaves, but it still returns.
I hope someone will have a solution for you.

JeNeSuisPasVotreMiel Mon 17-Apr-17 11:36:43

If you're turning it back into lawn it will be fine. Ground elder won't survive regular mowing.

I have a patch of it at the bottom of the garden under a tree where grass would struggle anyway, so I'm happy with it there.

Dandelions will need tackling individually. Either with a daisy grubber tool or by spotting some weedkiller into the centre and onto their leaves. And pick the heads off before they go to seed.

Thecontentedcat Mon 17-Apr-17 12:01:36

We have had the same problem, my approach has been multipronged:
1.Got a lawn specialist to come out 3 x in a year to weed and feed, that alone was transformational. They has stronger chemicals to use, that blitzed the majority of the lawn weeds but not the ground elder.
2. Regular mowing keeps the ge in check as pp said
3. Where there is ground elder in borders I have used glyphosphate /or if around plants I want to keep nipped all the ground elder shoots off at the base. If it is bare ground in borders I have taken the roots out which is tedious but worthwhile.
After 2 years it is under control, although not eliminated. I do try and garden organically where possible but I don't think it is possible with a ground elder infestation.

arbrighton Mon 17-Apr-17 17:47:45

Glyphosate kills ground elder fine but you'd then need to dig everything over and every tiny bit of root left could sprout into new ground elder.

We've dug it out of the beds at our house over the past 4 summers. Very satisfying to get a foot long chunk of root out.

We're on top of it now- just dig down and around any new shoots and pull root out.

arbrighton Mon 17-Apr-17 17:48:55

Oh and it doesn't climb/ strangle but bind weed does- similar efforts at our place for that and it's more or less under control, at least inside the fenceline

Flopjustwantscoffee Mon 17-Apr-17 20:58:52

I had/have a problem with ground elder. Apparently it doesn't strangle it smothers so after digging out as much as possible, if you keep on top of weeding any new shoots out it should be ok. That is what I am planning to do anyway... I actually weeded as much as possible then left for two weeks covered in cardboard then looked through the top layer of soil again. It was soooo satisfying to find the remaining root fragments with long white fleshy new growths on them and say no, not this time and bin them. I'm sure there are still some lurking in the soil but will weed them out as I see them. And at least ground elder shoots are fairly recognizable even when very small, so easier to weed out. The other thing I noticed is that the flower bed that is full of weeds/wildflowers (depending on interpretation) was fairly untouched by the ground elder. It was the flower bed my ex partner had dug over, dumped the weeds on top of the soil as a mulch without planting anything and then repeated this process over two years that the ground elder had grown crazy in. So I don't think it is that capable of completely destroying other plants that have a decent toehold (or at least not that quickly anyway, especially with regular weeding)

Flopjustwantscoffee Mon 17-Apr-17 20:59:42

Sorry for the essay, I got a bit obsessed with ground elder. I hope I am right anyway, I may come back in a year and say it was all a pitiful failure sad

Flopjustwantscoffee Mon 17-Apr-17 21:02:08

Also dandelions make excellent (if stinky) plant food if stewed in water for a couple of weeks

BarchesterFlowers Mon 17-Apr-17 21:03:29

We had ground elder and sort of managed it rather than eradicating it.

We lived in a woodland and getting rid of it was impossible. We dug it up, the roots are long and travel in a shallow manner so it is easy to get great big long sections of it out when the ground is soft. But we had to do that frequently.

My lawns have always been at least half weed, as long as it is green it is fine by me.

My latest problem is periwinkle, I actually think it is worse than ground elder.

SnickersWasAHorse Mon 17-Apr-17 21:08:10

We have ground elder.
I've given up on getting rid of it as we back onto woodland and both neighbours gardens are neglected.
It is only in the boarders and I dig it up when I see it.
It spreads like there is no tomorrow but doesn't really damage plants other than simply crowding them out.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 17-Apr-17 21:14:56

I have been reading about tagetes minuta which allegedly destroys perennial weeds including ground elder. I am going to give it a go with my couch grass this year.

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