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weeding Bluebells

bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 1,294
edited December 2022 in Plants
I have a fair size area of bluebells under mainly sweet chestnut trees.  The "blue haze" I seek is spoiled by stitchwort that flowers at the same time above the bluebells.  

Several years ago I asked the RHS help-desk at Chesea how to deal with is.  Apart  from asking whether it was greater or lesser stichwort (a time waster) they had no ideas.

Does any any forummer have any ideas?

"Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."

Posts

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,988
    As far as I can find out the only method is to get into the area and pull them out as soon as the plants are big enough to get hold of.
  • bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 1,294
    edited December 2022
    Palusris,  thank you.  (whatever happened to that early ecowarrior Swampy?).

    I had thought that bluebells, being monocots like grass, might not be affected by hormone lawn weedkillers.  The RHS man had no idea.  I haven't tried this idea, yet.

    I current do what you suggest.  I have a don't-walk-on-the-bluebells policy from February to July.  After July, when the bluebell leaves are beginning to fade and the stitchwort have hopefully not yet ripened and dropped their seeds, I do several days of hand-pulling.  I t is time-taking and back-breaking and quite skill-demanding work.  And at a season when klegs and sweat-flies are about.  What are roots and what are just lax stems is difficult to see.  I seem to be quite successful at reducing next year's flowers, but less successful at reducing the weed stitchwort  significantly.



    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,988
    You could always try a small patch with the lawn weed killer and see what happens.
  • bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 1,294
    edited December 2022
    I am going to try this in about August 2023.

    I will avoid the Anemone nemorosa and Silene Dioica, which I like and which complement rather than compete with the bluebells. 
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
  • Could you  perhaps do a sort of 'Chelsea chop' on the stitchwort so that it would flower later and take over from the bluebells instead of competing?
  • bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 1,294
    On a good year from a stichwort-free angle:


    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze I garden in South Notts on an improved clay soil Posts: 3,051
    edited December 2022
    @Bede That is beautiful it has it's own ecosystem. You already know my thoughts on spraying the Stichwort. I personally think that the response from the RHS could have been that the also didn't agree to the spraying? You are privileged to own such a lovely space.
    The most serious gardening I do would seem very strange to an onlooker,for it involves hours of walking round in circles,apparently doing nothing. Helen Dillon.
  • bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 1,294
    edited December 2022
    When I took over the area had a shrub storey of brambles. Like all gardens this ecosysrem has been modiified to suit our needs.  Removing the brambles by cutting and pulling over a number of years probably gave the sitchwort its moment in the sun.
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,384
    That is so beautiful @bédé. You are probably more of an expert than us as you have made that out of a bramble patch.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
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