ground elder

I'm new here and I'm new at gardening. Ground elder was already present in the garden the day I've bought my house. Until now I've been able to keep it in the "wild" part of the garden. But I would like to make this small garden into a garden for wildlife with insect friendly plants and wildlife/ bird friendly places and a little pond for frogs and toads (who visit this garden every year). So I would also like to tackle the part where the ground elder lives.

Who ever I speak to they all say that once ground elder is in your garden it is there to stay until eternity. I was wondering if there is a way to get rid of it in nature/ wildlife friendly way?


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 14,210

    welcome phenix.

    It all rather depends upon you definition of "nature / wildlife friendly" 

    IMHO the only way to get rid of GE is Glyphosate. Short term pain, perhaps, long term gain.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,357

    The only really effective treatment is to spray with glyphosate when it is growing strongly and then wait for it to die back completely which ensures the roots are killed too.  A few new growths might reappear which you would again treat in the same way.

    However, if you don't want to use any chemicals at all then there is a solution:  Dig as much out as you can and then pull up every new growth you see immediately.  It may take years but you will eventually beat it that way as no plant can survive without leaves to feed the roots.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 14,210

    nice philosophy Tetley. I like it. x

  • a1154a1154 Posts: 551

    I have quite a lot of ground elder in a wild area, which im not bothered about, but also just next to, and popping up in, my veg patch, which i am bothered about.

    I have tried a few things, and reduced it, but it keeps coming back.  I have a new secret weapon though.  I am going to strangle it out with strawberry plants, which are just as invasive in my garden, but i like them.  Might take a while, but i think it might work. 

    so....find something that will compete with it, but that you like.

  • thank you for your responds.

    Until the last MS relapse in the summer I had the philosophy of Tetley and a1154. But because I had balance problems during this MS relapse it was difficult to keep on top of GE during this summer period. I want to replace the GE by plants that are not so labour intensive and friendly for insects/ birds and wildlife.

    The idea of a1154 makes sense and I also like strawberries together with some the birds image that visit my garden. I'm going to thy that. Do you think this will also work under the apple tree and the vibernum?

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,754

    What did the Romans ever do for us?  Brought ground elder, that's what.  To eat.  Anyone tried it?

  • Steve might be on to something. Tell the ground elder that you want to grow it as a crop.  Please can it stay and grow strongly.  Then just watch as it succumbs to something, withers and dies....

  • I've tried eating it once. The very young shoots can be prepared like spinach and tastes nice but the older plant tastes foul.

    Tetley your description of a garden sound like music to my ears. The comfy seat I already have inside but not yet outside.The back wall is nearly all glass sliding window doors. So when sitting at my desk or in the back room with the sliding door open it feels like you are sitting outside. 

    I've got a relatively small garden with lots of shrubs, bushes, 1 old apple tree and a old patio. The pieces of lawn contain apart from grass also daisies, clover, all sorts of dandelions, creeping buttercup and moss. It looks a bit like a mini meadow.   A small pond is still missing but I'm planning on making one this winter/ spring - a small pond with a beach near bushes and plants for cover. And ground elder territory is going to have to learn to share imagewith other plants and strawberries and maybe some other features.

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,754

    Why is it that all unusual plant foods are like spinach?  And what's the point?  It's a but like all unusual animals tasting like chicken.

  • I don't know. But you can prepare it like spinach or the leaves of chard. But it tastes more like a fusion of spinach with green celery and curly parsley.

Sign In or Register to comment.