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How to clear Oxalis infestation

I have a patch that I want to plant as a natural meadow. But it is full of small green oxalis plants that seem to make hundreds of tiny bulbs or bulbets. It was covered for 6 months over last winter which cut down on the plants but they have come back with a vengeance. It has been hand-weeded several times but just can't get rid of the stuff underground. Is it going to be weed killer? Or I did wonder if takeing off the surface few inches of the soil and discarding it might be the answer.

Any fellow sufferers or solutions welcome.

Thanks Cate



  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,252

    If possible you can do as I do and go over the plants with a Flame gun. This burns off the seed heads at this time of year, then as Verdun says,it is a question of spraying in Spring with a translocatable weedkiller. Long term job I am sorry to say.

  • DaisydayDaisyday Posts: 373

    I didn't have much success with the flame gun as weeds grew back quickly.image

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,252

    There is a trick to using the Flame gun. You go back the following day and do it again. That seems to finish them off better than a single pass. I find it useful for killing the seeds, rather than the plants themselves. We have a lot of trouble with 'poppers' (cannot remember the proper name, but touch the plant and the seed pods explode). Using the flame gun rather than hand weeding does reduce the new infestations. It also is better in some ways than chemical control.

  • Sounds like hairy bittercress, Berghill.  They have a knack of hitting me in the eyes when I'm weeding!  Might try a flame gun for killing the seeds - any recommendations for make/type?

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,252

    Hi Bob, yes that's the one.

    As far as I can see the one sold by Lidl every now and then is a good as any. I used to have one of those Paraffin ones, but it never worked properly for me so I swapped it for a gas powered one. I have a gas powered painf stripper which is just as effective, but you have to go down on your knees to use it.


  • Lion SLion S Posts: 263

    We use a roofing torch and gas cylinder. OH made a cart for me where he places the cylinder so that I can pull it through the garden and clear the paths and soil wherever I can without touching the other planting.

    I found that you need to be persistent with the perennial weeds and burn them away thoroughly and go back within one or two weeks. You may need to go back several times (especially with dandelions) but in the end you win and they loose, hah!! Do be careful with oily plants as they can kind of explode.....image


  • Glyphosate, and lots of it, regularly!

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,252

    Weedkilller does not destroy the seeds though,

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