Hi! I have a south-facing garden backing onto a small woodland. In recent years I've noticed more and more bracken popping up in the borders. As fast as I pull it up, more appears. I have no idea how to get rid of it without digging up the whole garden - which I cannot do. Any ideas how to control or weaken it without compromising my other shrubs and plants? And yes, it's an acid soil - we have rhododendrons and azaleas growing.



  • flowering roseflowering rose Posts: 1,632

    you will have to dig the root right out ,it is very persistent .

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,221

    The Moorland Association recommends using glyphosate weedkiller while protecting nearby plants with plastic sheeting. It sounds like a nightmare whatever you do. As bad as mare's tails.

  • jspjsp Posts: 59

    We have the same situation in my parent's house, and the neighbour who owns the woodland next door glyphosates the bracken regularly. It keeps it well in check. Bracken is a tricky thing to live with, because the spores are carcinogenic if you are exposed to large amounts for long periods over several years. Best to attack it head on. I'm not sure if weed supressing membrane works for bracken. It might just lift it up and carry on through your garden. I suspect that even very organic folks would have to go with glyphosate in this case, just as if they had japanese knotweed. 

  • Thanks for the replies. It's going to be very tricky dealing with it as it's popping up in the midst of established clumps of plants, so I'd have to smear glyphosate onto each bracken stem and cover that with a plastic bag. Would that work? I've just been pulling them up when I find them up till now. Does pulling them up weaken them eventually or not?

  • jspjsp Posts: 59

    That does sound tricky. A single bracken plant can be very very large (miles long I believe) so pulling up stems will not weaken it. However, it might discourage it from spreading further in your garden. Smearing with glyphosate and bagging the stems sounds like a good idea. I'd love to hear updates if you try it. 

  • GRRRRR. MILES of bracken under my soil?imageimage There was no emoticon for 'totally aghast face'! I hate the stuff. It's also in my neighbour's garden and that is a bit of a mess - they aren't interested in gardening so bracken and bramble is running riot and invading our garden. Can anyone recommend a product then that contains glyphosate that I can smear on the b******s and try bagging them to kill them off? Spray would affect neighbouring plants so i don't want to  use that.

  • jspjsp Posts: 59

    Yes, I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news. It's a real problem if your neighbours are letting serious weeds run riot. Your best bet may be to put on some thick rubber gloves and then hold a cloth soaked in weed killer and rub the bracken with the cloth. That way you are not risking spraying the other plants (or yourself). If you use that method then you can just go to the garden centre and choose the cheapest bulk box of glyphosate. Be careful though, as liquids will eventually penetrate rubber gloves. It's good to change then regularly and throw the old ones away. (I'm not giving official advice here, by the way. I'm just another gardener. Please do take care and use your own judgement.).

    I just checked and bracken doesn't seem to be one of those weeds where the council will approach your neighbour under a bye law. It seems as if you may just need to talk to them yourself. Good luck. 


  • Emma1978Emma1978 Posts: 202

    cotton buds dipped in glyphosphate image

  • Thanks, Jennifer. I deam of  torching Neighbour's garden in the dead of night so the bracken problem might be solved at a stroke. Plus we might get some nice new neighbours afterwards.....imageimage

    In case anyone from Special Branch is reading this, that was a JOKE. The torching is in my imagination ONLY. *sigh* but I fear they are not to be reasoned with.It's taken over 10 years for them to get round to having a horrible conifer removed which was draining our garden of light and moisture, and theirs too. A monster of a tree. They still have another they won't remove because it hides a hideous mess of invasive perennial weeds and detritus. Makes our garden look like Sissinghurst.....and I am no Vita Sackville-West!

    I will try the tickling of the bracken with glyphosate, but it might well take me a while to pluck up courage to make a startimage. I don't want to affect any wildlife so that will take a lot of thinking about. Points taken about the rubber gloves - will take appropriate Elfin Safety precautions. Thank you!






  • Emma - cotton buds??? Really? That would take me well into the next century....and I'm 60 in August image

Sign In or Register to comment.