/ Wednesday, February 27, 2013 / No comments / ,

Problem Plants in the Garden

No matter how carefully maintained your garden is sometimes a plant appears that you simply wish was not there. It may come from an unknown source or it could be something intentionally planted that went amuck and is taking over. The situation remains the same – it is where it should not be now.

Often referred to as weeds when they show up at random, the trick to getting rid of them without spoiling the plants in your garden is understanding them. By identifying the ‘weed’ and learning something of it you have a better chance of preventing it from spreading.



As a simple example the common dandelion.  Most gardeners know that pulling off the top and leaving the long tap root in the ground is simply making it disappear for a week. If it blossoms and the blossom is allowed to go to seed then you have effectively planted 100 more of them in your garden. To get rid of a weed with a tap root you need to dig out the entire root. For all weeds careful pruning of the flowers prior to going to seed is a must.

What many gardeners do is a mistake. Plucking the weed with a bud or flower on it and tossing it into the compost pile or laying it aside. Even once broken off or uprooted the bud often continues on to seed. If that was in your compost pile then when you spread your compost you are planting hundreds of dandelions or thistles – whatever weed that you were trying to dispose of.

Invasive plants are plants that are not native to the region. They arrive as seeds in the soil of other plants, from cargo being imported, or even from well-meaning gardeners that see a plant that catches their eye on vacation so they bring one back for their garden.



In its new environment they sometimes find a special home. Free of the insect or bird that kept it naturally in check where it came from it thrives and propagates with speed. Japanese Knotweed is an example of this.The lack of natural controls make these particularly difficult to eradicate without the use of harmful chemical herbicide that also kill many other plants. For invasive species specific information is typically available such as found here: www.t-c-m.co.uk.

The most frustrating plant issue is when you intentionally select a plant for your garden and it does too well. The pretty border colour begins encroaching on the other plants and soon strangles them out. Somehow the ones you planted in a small spot start appearing everywhere.

Aside from careful homework before adding a new plant to your garden you need to learn about the plant that is being problematic. It is essential to learn how it is propagating. If it is seeds are the seeds being spread naturally or are you moving the seeds with your garden tools or in your compost? Are underground root systems sending runners 3 feet in every direction? By knowing this you will have better idea how to control the spreading.

This article is written by Vickie Harrison and it is her fourth article of a series on garden solutions.

Vickie is a budding/beginner gardener based in the UK. In her spare time she can be found hanging out around garden centres looking for inspiration for her own small back garden that has been ruined by her big Labrador called Ernie.

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I enjoy gardening and visiting nurseries and garden retailers. Here I will share what I see with reviews and ratings, from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent).

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Cheers, Stephanie

Contact me, email mygreenfinder at hotmail dot com

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