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Sweet woodruff vs ground elder

CamelliadCamelliad SussexPosts: 402
Last year I cleared (repeatedly) a patch of soil that was riddled with ground elder. I dug out as many roots as I could and I put cardboard down in Autumn. I appreciate that this is going to be a long term / lifetime battle, but ever the optimist I sprinkled some sweet woodruff seeds in Autumn (on the areas not covered by cardboard) and marked where I'd put them. No sign of any seedlings so far. Should I be able to see them or is it too early?

Should I do anything to help the sweet woodruff win the battle against the ground elder? Or does it not stand a chance? The area is damp shade.


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,134
    I have sweet woodruff growing in my garden. For me, it is as much a plague as ground elder is for you. 😕
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • CamelliadCamelliad SussexPosts: 402
    Oh no @pansyface

    Hm, but does it look any prettier...? I don't know why but ground elder makes me cross. I'd like to have groundcover but just not that groundcover. What would you have as groundcover instead if you could choose?
  • yorkshireroseyorkshirerose North YorkshirePosts: 574
    I like Sweet Woodruff. I have a good covering in a damp, shady area. It covers the ground well and keeps the weeds at bay in a difficult area to garden. Smells nice too if picked and dried. 
    A gardener's work is never at an end  - (John Evelyn 1620-1706)
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,134
    edited April 2020
    Each to their own...

    Sweet woodruff is irritatingly brittle and hairy. I start to feel itchy just looking at it.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • CamelliadCamelliad SussexPosts: 402
    It doesn't look hairy. That did make me giggle.

    @yorkshirerose and @pansyface is your sweet woodruff growing now or too early?
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336
    If the woodruff takes, I suspect you'll then permanently have both.  You can eat the ground elder and make tea with the woodruff and stuff some in pillows to help you sleep so if total disaster befalls the food supply chain, at least you can watch it all happen while lying in a scented bed, eating your salad and drinking a cup of tea! :D
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,134
    I think it’s coming out of hiding now yes.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • CamelliadCamelliad SussexPosts: 402
    @BobTheGardener oh no!!!! 

    @pansyface thank you - I'm sorry it's not a welcome sight for you. I'd happily swap but I suspect you wouldn't want the ground elder either. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,418
    But at least you can make Maibowle with Sweet Woodruff

    Champ made with Ground Elder is very good, but but as good as Maibowle.  
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • CamelliadCamelliad SussexPosts: 402
    Thanks @Dovefromabove, that looks lovely. I'm hoping it takes and I can add this to my list of "things to make from the garden" after elderflower cordial... which didn't go so well last year... because I didn't realise that you had to cut the stalks off.... 
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