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To win the war agains Ground Elder

Hi everyone,

I'm trying my best to get rid of the ground elder that is envading my garden!

At the moment i cut my grass twice a week, and when ever i see a leaf i try to carefully dig it up with as much root as possible.

I have a dog that uses the back garden and its growing from under the hedge, so I don't want to use any chemical sprays if  can get away with it, also don't weedkiller to kill the hedge

I have tried roundups gel, and applied it on a small patch on the leaves and fenced off so dog couldn't touch it, couple days later still looked the same, so i applied more. still no difference so applied more... so thats now out of the question, is there any other 'paint on' weedkiller that would work? i can bar off small areas in the garden.

any suggestions would be great as i feel i'm gona be digging it up forever! I know that i've certainly been able to slow it down as its not going to get the chance to flower which is a help :)



  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,764

    Roundup gel takes a couple of weeks to work, not a couple of days. I would apply more than just a small patch though as ground elder is very fast growing so would treat emerging leaves every couple of days for at least a week to make sure enough is being absorbed to do its job.

  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,466

    Roundup doesn't work instantly. The active ingredients have to be carried to all parts of the plant  like other nutrients and then it slowly dies. This cant take several weeks. With ground elder, for every leaf you can see there is a vast network of interconnecting roots and it can regrow from the tiniest bit of root.

    You can keep small areas fairly clear by diligent weeding but it will always sneak back from somewhere. It is best just to accept it and learn to live with it and it does have some virtues in that it is not altogether unattractive, the flowers are quite pretty, it doesn't seem to actually kill things and you can even eat It! There have been lots of threads about it on here and short of nuking the entire garden and stating with a completely blank slate this seems to be the general opinion!

  • Dave HedgehogDave Hedgehog Posts: 377

    Ground Elder is a tough cookie and will take a long time even with an all-out dig up or weedkiller approach, particularly if present in adjoining properties or land. 

    If it has found refuge under a hedge, it will inevitably keep creeping back for some time. There are stronger alternatives to Roundup gel, which is a relatively weak Glyphosate product and as you have suggested brush-on products and you own a dog, caution is necessary, which you seem fully aware of by sectioning off areas of grass.

    Glyphosate in a non-selective weedkiller that kills plants including grass and it is much safer than 'selective' weedkillers that target broad-leaf plants but leave grass unharmed. The composition of most selective weedkillers tends to persist on grass or in the soil for weeks instead of hours. Not good for Doggie.

    It's entirely at your own risk but if it was me, I'd buy a much stronger Glyphosate weedkiller such as a root and stump killer and mix it to the required ratio, for which there is a recommended Ground Elder dose:

    If you use a product like this, ensure you wear some nitrile gauntlets, face/eye protection and overalls.

    Or just dig up or hoe and mow down the (rather unsavoury) 'herb' and curse the Romans for introducing it... for many years to come.

    Last edited: 19 May 2017 19:09:09

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