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By Holly66

Norfolk, United Kingdom Gb

My border is completely overrun with ground elder. I have tried to beat it over the years by hand and removing all the white roots. Last year I had a bad back so it has now taken over. My question is, I know what I have to do but can I lift plants and re-pot safely at this time of year ie bleeding heart. I don't want to disturb my Delphiniums or Lupins because they look quite good.



Hi Holly66, now is not a good time to be moving these, as they're just coming into flower, wait until the flowers have finished and then move if you must, but they don't like to be disturbed, Derek.

8 May, 2013


Hi holly66,
Have a think ref this idea,
All plants (& weeds are plants also) need light!!!!!
They can't live without it,
so why not cover the area "around" the plants you want to save with black plastic polythene, your loved plants will continue to grow and thrive but anything under the plastic will not.
This will give you time for your back to get better & the weather to warm up & by the time your able to weed and sort these weeds out they'll not have taken over the plot.

8 May, 2013


Depends how close to the beloved plants the ground Elder is growing Dungy... black plastic too near them and they'll be deprived of water, also it could make the bed too hot for their roots. Can you get someone to paint the leaves fo the ground Elder with roundup Holly, making sure they don't get one tiny drop on your beloved plants.

8 May, 2013


Ref the plastic being to near the plants!
cut a hole large enough so you can water the plants "but if you put a few layers of news paper around the plants we're the hole has been cut then the plastic over the edges of this paper the water will soak through,
for the amount of area your trying to keep weeds down is worth the effort of using the plastic and keeping the weeds away from the base "by hand"
is still a hell of a bit less than leaving the weeds to grow,

Im not keen at all on weed killers,
on paths ok, but minute mist from using sprays can get to the plants your trying to save and nature's ways of weed control is'nt to use chemicle's.

The quicker gardeners stop using these weed killers the quicker we'll get the Bee population and insects back into our gardens.

I really would very strongly ask people to read what insects are all about and why we need the likes of green/white fly etc,

We can use verious plants to deter the green/white fly
and the good insects will live off these .

Insects are a free nature way of gardening and well worth while knowing whats good and what the likes of ladybirds need to live,
Some very ugly insects are in fact a god send to the gardener.

Just my thoughts on the subject of chemicle use and why i wouldnt use them.

Your body is like a temple and its up to you how you look after it and what you feed it and allow it to smell and breath in it.
If you we're to drink petrol do you think you'd walk faster? Or is this a silly thing to say?
Is using a chemicle not the same thing? Have you any idea how much of any killer chemicle you need to get inside you before your health suffers?

No im also not trained to know these anwers, So i'll take my chances by not using any of them.
Good gardening folks

9 May, 2013


Dungy I don't like the use of chemicals one little bit... in our garden if we have a problem with a weed we remove the weed. But if someone has a health problem, and I do too now, and is trying to keep a pernicious weed under control they need to hear all the options. Note I said 'paint' the leaves not 'spray', you put the Roundup into a little jar - take a child's paint brush and, very carefully, paint the leaf of the plant you wish to remove. I agree we need greenfly, white fly etc. etc. I find it hard to kill any beastie even slugs :-( Walking down a busy street you get an awful lot of chemicals in your body simply by breathing - painting a weed leaf with roundup is not going to introduce the chemical into your system.

Happy gardening to all... and good luck Holly no matter how you tackle the ground elder.

9 May, 2013


Hi Moon growe,
your correct ref painting on round up,
and im pleased you dont like chems all over the place,

Your right ref options,
As ive said before many times ive never said gardening was'nt hard work,
If you can get a friend to do this painting of round-up for you great!

But most gardeners are not that lucky and for me i look at the "Mother nature" and how she's delt with weeds,
and the the well known DR shewell cooper (who died a few years ago) did a study on weed control and gardening for the "im going to say less fit" person but you know the word i refuse you use, And he came back with the needs of plants and the one fact was that without light they wont live,
At DR shewell-cooper gardens he had a min depth of 4 inch of compost on all his borders to keep the weed population well undercontrol, and as he said it was a large estate he had with lots of borders and his weeding was a lot less to control infact it was really the seeds birds we're dropping that he was removing each year.

When i took my allotment over the council didnt let me have it for 6 month after the pre/owner and then it was january, so as im sure you'll understand i had a bad weed problem and a bad time to start trying to get the plot into shape,
I used black pvc covering over most of the plot and removed section by section of it as i sorted the weeds out,
Most of the weeds had turned yellow or black due to lack of light and they hadn't had a chance to grow again due to lack of light,
using the PVC gave me time to over take the weeds growth, instead of the weeds growing like mad and me trying to keep up and as i at the time could only really go to the plot of an weekend i needed to keep on top.
Hence the advice ive passed on is well and truly tested by both myself and the DR shewell-cooper and nature,
and that my option,
So our friend has at least two options to go by.
Regards moon-grow and keep the good work up.

9 May, 2013


You could protect the plants you want to keep by putting plastic bags over them and then apply glyphosate using a watering can rather than a spray. This way you don't get any spray drift. The dilution is different but the directions are on the pack. Glyphosate has no effect on bees as they don't eat leaves. Black plastic would certainly work in time but as the plants in question are very tenacious it would need to be in place for a long time, at least one whole growing season. Any ground elder actually invading a clump of wanted perennial could then be dealt with by painting the leaves as MG describes.

Four inches of compost would kill most seedling weeds, but ground elder would just come cheerfully though it all. It used not o be a weed at all - the monks used it as a gout cure and it has also been used as a pot herb. I tried it once but not twice!!

11 May, 2013


Many thanks for all your suggestions. I don't think 'painting the leaves' is an option as it would take me a month of Sundays. I think perhaps I might try covering my plants with bin bags and using the watering can. Fingers crossed. Thanks again.

12 May, 2013


just get the proper membrane sold for the job and the watering will be fine with know chemicals . the odd bit that comes threw next to your plants you can pull up .

20 May, 2014

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