The growing season is well underway marked by the reappearance of my old foes; ground elder, bindweed and creeping buttercup that I thought I had previously blitzed to kingdom come. Fat chance.
Problem is these weeds are near impossible to deter despite extensive mulching that supposedly suppresses growth, spread like wildfire which in my well cultivated garden is virtually everywhere.
My first attack is digging out and burning the roots but however careful you think you are extracting the last vestige of those pesky self –resurrecting strands of roots there are always survivors ready to spring back stronger than ever. Then there is the inaccessible roots entwined into established shrubs.
On open beds, one drastic option is to smother the soil with black light proof plastic for at least a year. It is a slow and ugly method but it does work. The other option, and somewhat controversial with environmentalists is to use the weed killer Glyphosate. You will need to be patient and wait until there is a good show of foliage before treatment so as to ensure the spray is absorbed and taken down to the roots. You will have to repeat this process several times during the year as fresh growth will appear as despite the claims on the packaging – it will not knock out the weeds with one application.
Bindweed has to be the hardest to eliminate. By the time it has enough leaf to be worth spraying it can have climbed up every convenient plant. Disentangle it and rewind it around canes and use Round Up gel on the bindweed leaves. Also pinch off the flowers as it is fatal to let it seed. As for weeds in the lawn, ordinary weed killer will wipe out everything. Choose selective treatments designed for use on lawns that will kill broadleaf invaders but not grasses.