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Top 12 troublesome weeds

Published on 6th August 2018

Creeping thistle Cirsium arvense

The four best methods of control are:

  • Removal by hand
  • Application of an organic mulch
  • Systemic or translocated weed killer
  • Selective weedkiller for lawn applications

Couch Elymus repens

The two best methods to control are:

  • Removal by hand
  • Systemic or translocated weed killer

Bindweed Calystegia sepium

The three best methods of control are: - Removal by hand - Hoeing off young plants - Systemic or translocated weed killer

Japanese knotweed Fallopia japonica syn. Polygonum cuspidatum

Knotweed is currently the most invasive plant we have in the UK and as such, is treated extremely seriously. If you think you have it, please read the following information carefully.

Japanese Knotweed: Advice from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS)

Removal by hand can be completed but the vegetative growth cannot be removed from the site without a licence.

  • Japanese knotweed has been considered 'controlled waste' since the 1990 Environmental Protection Act, which means that it can only be disposed of at landfill sites that have been specially licensed.
  • In order to safely remove Japanese knotweed, contractors must be registered waste carriers. It's always a good idea to check this is the case before employing a contractor.
  • Japanese knotweed can also be burned on site, but it must be allowed to dry beforehand.

Oxalis corniculata, Oxalis debilis and Oxalis latifolia

They spread by tiny bulb-lets and jumping seeds. There are three main types of Oxalis that cause trouble in the garden.

The two best ways to control:

  • Removal by hand
  • Systemic or translocated weed killer

Horsetail Equisetum Arvense

Unfortunately, there's a reason this prehistoric plant has survived; Almost impossible to control by hand weeding, as the roots and stems can reproduce from the smallest particles.

Using Systemic or translocated weed killer will require several applications.

Ground Elder Aegopodium podagraria

Five best methods of control are:

  • Removal by hand
  • Mowing regularly
  • Hoeing when young
  • Systemic/translocated weed killer
  • Residual weedkiller

Enchanter's Nightshade Circaea lutetiana

Three best control methods:

  • Removal by hand
  • Systemic or translocated weed killer
  • Application of an organic mulch

Creeping buttercup Ranunculus repens

Seven best methods to control:

  • Removal by hand
  • Mowing regularly
  • Hoeing when young
  • Systemic or translocated weed killer
  • Residual weedkiller
  • Covering with a landscape membrane
  • Selective weed control

Nettles Urtica dioica

Four best methods to control:

  • Removal by hand
  • Mowing regularly
  • Hoeing when young
  • Systemic or translocated weed killer

Himalayan balsam Impatiens glandulifera

A single Himalayan balsam can produce hundreds of seeds, which are shot several metres through the air when the seedpods ripen.

Best control method:

There are Himalayan balsam bashing parties that happen across the country.

Hemlock Conium maculatum

Three best methods to control:

  • Use a biological control. There's only one known biological agent (the hemlock moth) that will actually do the job, and it's unfortunately pretty pricey. But if you've got the money, the hemlock moth larvae will devour the leaves, leaving the plant bare and defoliated.
  • Removal by hand wearing the correct personal protective equipment
  • Systemic or translocated weed killer

Share your weeding hints and tips with us!

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Little Foxes Farm, Seend, Devizes, UK

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