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Ground elder!

I have ground elder in one of my borders- as a novice gardener two years ago when I first noticed it I hoped it was just another plant i didn't know but was corrected when I realised it had spread significantly and did a bit of googling! 

Last year I tackled it as much as I could by hand- it is an established border with large lilacs, shrubs, perennials etc. It was time consuming but it kept on top of it for a whiel. I used roundup gel but found it ineffective- I dont want to use chemicals due to lots of wildlife in the garden.

Am I ok to continue tackling by hand or is the only way forward  to dig everything that I can up (I would have to leave the trees and lilacs) cleanup the soil and cover for a period of time? 

Advice welcome


  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,121

    Perseverance when tackling ground-elder is the only way if it's spread throughout an established border .

    If your soil is a fairly light loam it should extract readily ; more of a problem in clay .

    One of my elderly customers has it spreading through a large clump of Geranium macrorrhizum ; removal of this once per year by hand is enough to test anyones patience , but we win out in the end !

    Well done for not using chemicals by the way .

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,121

    Although a menace in many a garden , it is by far not the worst !

    One of our 'clients' has a severe infestation of Mares'Tail ; and nigh on impossible to eradicate . All we can do is strim off all fresh growth periodically to keep this under some semblance of control .

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,151

    Ma lived with it in her rose garden and shrubbery for over twenty years ... just assiduous weeding and making sure it never got the chance to set seed.  

    If you feel like getting your own back you can always cook and eat it 

    There's loads of recipes on t'internet ... my favourite is to use it with mashed potatoes to make champ.  

    Just make sure no one's sprayed it before you pick it!!! image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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