Forum home Problem solving

Digging out ground elder

I have ground elder in a relatively small border contained by sleepers (ground elder present, I believe, by using contaminated compost), I used herbicide in the sprint and that worked well to just leave small bits now.

Can I dig out the soil and replace with new. And if so, how deep would I need to dig?

I plan to put the 'contaminated' soil beneath an area of ground that I need to build up. It will be turfed and regularly mown.

Need to get plants planted (currently sitting in pots) so don't really want to commit to another year of herbicide.

Thank you.


  • SussexsunSussexsun Posts: 1,444

    Ground elder is quite shallow rooted and it is easy to spot as it looks like strands of spaghetti. if it is only a small bed and a mild infestation it should be quite easy to remove the soil and replace. When I dug mine out I went down about 10 inches but mine was a major infestation in an established bed which hadn't been touched in years.

    i wouldn't reused the soil without sieving out all the roots as it can regrow from the smallest bit left behind. And even then I would be tempted to add a membrane between  and any other soil. 

    but I might be over cautious after spending weeks clearing it from my garden.

    To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 36,825

    A good article here that will help. Ground elder roots can go down as deep as 60cm so digging, digging and more digging is the answer.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • Thank you all. The sun's shining so I'll get digging... 

  • Good Luck - my garden is infested with it and after 12 years of double digging to a depth of 30-40 cms I still haven't managed to clear some areas. I've tried Glypho (mixed to double strength) but it doesn't really stop other bits finding their way to the top. I've been told to cover with carpet for 2 years, use weed control fabric and replant through that but I suspect my very old garden will just throw up some more next year. I have found that planting good ground cover plants helps crowd it out. And have yet to try planting Mexican Marigolds which supposedly they hate. I just hate Ground Elder and the other bane of my gardening life. Bind Weed.  Out in the sun for some digging and bulb planting!!

Sign In or Register to comment.