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Ground Elder

(21 Posts)
ilovetrees30 Sun 21-Apr-19 18:56:42

We have now identified that the one weed plaguing my raised vegetable bed is ground elder. We've just spent an hour pulling as much out as we can but I am under no illusion that we haven't got it all. Does anyone have any tips on how to get rid of it completely without having to weed kill the crap out of it as I want to grow vegetables in that bed or empty the raised bed to get to ground level?

ChicCroissant Sun 21-Apr-19 19:00:38

Dig it out, the roots go down for miles as well! We used to have it in a previous garden and I spent most Sundays digging the stuff up. Didn't use weedkiller on it.

When you say raised bed, it is self-contained (like a trough), can you get all the soil out back to bare brick/wood of the raised bed or does it just go down to the garden soil?

ilovetrees30 Sun 21-Apr-19 19:19:30

I thought that would be the answer. The raised bed goes onto the soil sadly which doesn't help our cause does it?

greenelephantscarf Sun 21-Apr-19 19:21:35

eat it!
the fresh green leaves can be cooked like spinach. they taste fresh and 'green' with a slight 'iron' aftertaste.
yum with pasta

MaddieElla Sun 21-Apr-19 19:25:43

Don't just pull them, the root needs digging out. Then it's a matter of keeping on top of it because it will keep on coming.

ilovetrees30 Sun 21-Apr-19 19:27:18

@MaddieElla we turned the bed over to the original ground level and pulled as much of the roots as we could

Shadowboy Sun 21-Apr-19 19:33:38

Ground elder is something you will chase for a while. I suggest really turning over the bed as deep as you can and pulling the long roots up- this will buy you a month or two after which you will just need to keep pulling. The alternative is glyphosate which will work but is chemical based and will require leaving the bed for some time before planting veg!

SeaRabbit Mon 22-Apr-19 07:44:52

With GE I'd use glyphosate, as it gets rid of it in one fell swoop, but you'll now have to wait until the leaves come back, which they will, despite all your work... I usually garden organically but made an exception to deal with GE, as it is such hard work having to keep digging it up.

Ohyesiam Thu 25-Apr-19 09:56:07

If you plant geranium macrorhyza it exudes a substance that is poisonous to ground elder. I did it after digging it out, and haven’t had too much of a return from it. It’s a quite attractive perennial with either white or pink flowers.

Beebumble2 Thu 25-Apr-19 11:19:50

Ohyesiam I didn’t know that.
I have planted perennial geraniums in a patch where I’d tried to eradicate ground elder, in order to mask it. You’re right the ground elder has diminished.

ALadyofLetters Thu 25-Apr-19 12:29:35

Thanks @Ohyesiam I’m going to try that. I’ve just moved house and the garden has huge patches of ground elder.

Ohyesiam Thu 25-Apr-19 13:03:23

You’re welcome, it’s a tip( or life hack as my kids say!) that I got from a neighbour. Do you know what sort of geranium you planted Bumble?

Beebumble2 Thu 25-Apr-19 15:53:33

It was a crainsbill Johnson’s Blue, perhaps. When I moved I asked friends for bits of their geraniums to put in my garden.
I love crainsbill geraniums and have quite a collection, but I’m not really very good at labelling plants.

QuantumWeatherButterfly Thu 25-Apr-19 16:04:52

We have it. It was really bad last year, we got out as much as possible and actually, very little has come back so far. I don't doubt we'll be chasing it for a while but it isn't as terrible as I feared. That said, our garden has (ahem) a more rustic vibesmile

peridito Thu 25-Apr-19 19:20:47

@Ohyesiam do you know if all hardy geraniums are geranium macrorhiza ?

I do have a pink one and wonder if that fits the bill .

hoteltango Thu 25-Apr-19 20:32:47

It's very interesting to read about geranium macrorhiza. The ground elder this year in our garden is the worst I've ever seen. Although it's a small garden, I was despairing at the idea of trying to dig it out, especially as I know I'll end up with back problems if I try. We do have a gardener who does the hedges and prunes the two apple trees, so I'll get him to zap the ground elder with heavy-duty weedkiller, and then plant some geraniums.

We do have a few shrubs that seem to thrive even in the shade of the apple trees, and I was thinking of adding maybe a couple of hardy fuschias just to give some height. From what I've read today, geraniums tend to spread, but quite frankly I'd prefer a carpet of geraniums rather than the ground elder.

Ohyesiam Fri 26-Apr-19 10:48:17

I was told it was macrorhiza , I’ve not experimented with others. But I don’t think Johnson Blue is a macro a pp upthread says they have had some success with that.

NotMaryWhitehouse Fri 26-Apr-19 15:05:26

I found an interesting short article in the subject - mentions two varieties particularly

Beebumble2 Fri 26-Apr-19 18:55:57

Very interesting article * NotMary* . I love hardy geraniums and have planted a lot, some lovely ones collected from roots from friends gardens.

peridito Fri 26-Apr-19 21:41:35

Thanks Ohyesiam I see it's a particular type . V interesting ,thanks for bringing this up .

cathyandclare Sat 27-Apr-19 14:12:05

Brilliant tip, I'm off to order geranium macrorhyza...

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