Ask a Question forum: Controlling goutweed in garden

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Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Mar 27, 2016 7:16 PM CST
We have a garden that's overun with goutweed its spread into the neighbors yard and sends roots deep into the garden soil

Talking with the neighbors is useless as they rent and are not great people I'm wondering if you can place a root berrier between yards to contain the spread if so how deep I had some wild ginger I had to uproot because of the goutweed invasion also how can you safely dispose of it normally we take weeds to the compost waste site but I don't see this as safe
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Mar 29, 2016 1:38 PM CST
Goutweed/ Goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria) is really pretty but I totally understand about the invasive concerns ... we have a lot of plants here in Fla. that seem to want to take over the state! I bet it's almost impossible to eradicate all of the underground rhizomes so I guess digging, monitoring the area, digging and more digging is the only way to keep it under control or to get rid of as much as possible ... an on-going job for sure!

More information here https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/goutweed
and here: https://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/aepo1.htm
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Mar 29, 2016 7:36 PM CST
That stuff is truly one of my garden pet peeves... my personal feeling is that it shouldn't even be sold! Grumbling

It can take literally years of diligent digging to get rid of it, and I agree that it shouldn't be taken to the compost waste site. A little Roundup can be a big help, if you aren't totally opposed to that idea.

However you approach it, you have my sympathy!
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Mar 30, 2016 5:16 AM CST
Not that the situation is this drastic, but it might literally be easier to move than get rid of the Aegopodium. I tried once, dug up 3 giant (leaf size) bags of soil from the garden, removing the top 6 inches or so & didn't put a dent in it, just invigorated it. That was before I discovered smothering, which is what I would do if I ever have the misfortune to encounter this awful plant again. No plant can live w/o light.
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Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Apr 1, 2016 5:59 AM CST
What about if I put in a native fern that spreads
Like ostrich fern would that help suppress it back
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
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AlyssaBlue
Apr 1, 2016 7:05 AM CST
When we had strawberries growing wild through a garden area I wanted to plant with ornamentals, I pulled as much as I could by hand and threw it out. Then I spread Preen, then mulch on top of that. A few strawberries tried coming back a few times, but after a while they were gone.

Tiffany's idea also sounds good if you can place a plastic tarp (not see through) over the goutweed and smother it. Get rid of all the plant material after that though, so it doesn't pop back up.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Apr 1, 2016 8:02 AM CST
Alex, my experience with using native ferns is that they also grow pretty aggressively in cultivated soil... I can't say for sure, but I think all you would end up with is a mixture of ferns and the goutweed taking over everything else.

The smothering method sounds pretty good to me!
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