alanem
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Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:20 pm

Ground Elder

Hello Has anybody any advice on getting rid of ground elder in my lawn? There's too much to dig it out.

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rainbowgardener
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Hi and welcome! Sorry you never got a response. You posted a little bit before the Forum went down with a bad virus attack. It was down for most of two weeks. By the time it came back some of the stuff from before got missed.

But maybe no one had a very good answer for you. Ground elder is one of those really nasty ones. If you can't just keep digging and hoeing it out, then I think the answer is just to till up the lawn, rake/ sift out every single piece of rhizome you can get and then reseed.

The more vigorous you can keep your lawn (hard in these heat/ drought times), the better it can compete with the ground elder.

All of the effective methods involve basically starting over. You can solarize the lawn by laying down black plastic in the heat of summer and leaving it for a couple months, to cook everything. You can cover the whole lawn with multiple layers of cardboard/ newspaper (overlapping seams). Wet it down, cover it with several inches of good topsoil and compost and plant new grass seed in to that.

If you don't mind using poisons, you can spray the whole area with glyphosate (active ingredient in Roundup), wait a few weeks for the ground elder (field bindweed) to start coming back (which it will) and then poison again. This will also kill all of the lawn and you will need to re-seed. Since the ground elder is so much more vigorous than anything else, I don't know any ways to eradicate it that don't involve eradicating everything and starting over - except just continuing to dig it out with as much of the root as you can, every time you see it.

I'm fighting a very aggressive new weed called mulberry weed that way - I just walk the garden daily or as often as I can and pull every bit of it I see. It's an on-going process, but I have kept it from taking over.
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alanem
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Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:20 pm

Many thanks for your reply...I think I've now resigned myself to having a ground elder lawn either that or a car park. No seriously I intend to use the
Roundup route over the winter and start again next year. Thanks again.

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applestar
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I might be wrong but I believe round up is more effective while plants are in active growth -- you spray the leaves/foliage or cut the plant and paint the cut surfaces so the chemical is transported via the plant's system. I'm not sure how effective it would be to use herbicides while they are dormant in winter. (not to mention you would have difficult time telling effectiveness).

Also, I'm pretty sure it's better to start lawn from seeds in the fall when temperatures cool down and just prior to frequent but not severe rainy days. But this may depend on local climate patterns.

I WAS going to say pull what you can when the ground is saturated and cut close to the ground what you can't (pruners or weed whacker or lawn mower).

alanem
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Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:20 pm

Wow! Thanks for the tips I'll bring my deadly attack forward to say the end of August then I think I'll returf the area rather than seed it and put newspaper underneath. I'll speak to the turf people for their advice about timing. In the meantime thanks again for all your help.

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