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Weed out those unwanted garden invaders.

AT this time of year, the toughest of invasive perennial weeds are doing their worst, smothering plants as they climb relentlessly up anything with a stalk, says HANNAH STEPHENSON.

Here's what to do about three of the worst culprits.

| BINDWEED THIS strangler twirls itself around prize plants and produces funnel-shaped white flowers of its own.

You need to follow its path down to the soil and pull up every last piece of root. However, the thick white roots are likely to break, which then creates root cuttings.

The best way to keep it in check is to treat it with spot weedkiller when the shoots first show through the ground.

| GROUND ELDER THIS rampant weed spreads quickly between cultivated plants, forming clumps of green, lobed leaves and heads of creamy white flowers in summer.

The only way to tackle it in established beds is to dig up plants and carefully tease out the white roots of the ground elder. You must remove every single white strand of root.

If you must go down the chemical route, spray the leaves with systemic weedkiller during dry, still weather and re-apply during the season as soon as you see any regrowth. Wait until the leaves have completely wilted, then dig the whole lot up.

| COUCH GRASS COUCH grass just looks like thick blades of long grass with wiry stems, but dig deeper and you will find creeping white underground stems (rhizomes) with sharp points, which can extend underground for a considerable distance in all directions, producing new plants along the way.

Hoeing is useless and digging it out is difficult, particularly if it has invaded a shrub or perennial plant.

In this case, dig up the whole plant and tease out the couch grass roots.

If you opt for a systemic weedkiller, take care if weeds are growing around desirable plants. You should buy glyphosate in a gel formulation where application is by a small paintbrush.

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BINDWEED is but a real nuisance

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jun 15, 2019
Words:331
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