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13 messages
03/04/2014 at 20:40

I'm starting the battle of trying to get rid of as much alkanet as possible. 

Can I put it on the compost heap ?  I'm thinking no, but maybe my garden waste recycling might be better suited.  Have just filled two thirds of a bin in about 15 mins... otherwise I see a few trips to the tip ahead.

Any advice, how to get it under control ?


03/04/2014 at 20:42

No peanuts burn it!. Alkanet is a perennial weed, never put perennial weeds on the compost heap, unless you are using a hot composter.

03/04/2014 at 20:53

thank you.  If I take it to the tip I assume the compost there will get hot enough to get rid of it. 

03/04/2014 at 21:07

On the other hand the coarse leaves will make quite good compost. If you can bother to separate the roots from the leaves and dump just the former.

03/04/2014 at 23:36

Council compost heaps generate huge amounts of heat peanuts, far higher than most of us can manage. You can of course, if you have the cash, splash out on the ones in the current GW mag. Those will compost a human body!

04/04/2014 at 01:48

I live on Cape Cod Massachusetts USA. I get the impression that alkanet is an invasive weed to be avoided at all costs. I googled it but could not see a reference for such a weed. Please elaborate. Thank you, jagdoran

04/04/2014 at 06:23

Hi Jagdoran 

Green alkanet is a native British plant - on some soils it can be extremely invasive, on others it is not a nuisance.   I have no idea whether it grows in the countries of Northern America.

It's edible and in the past has been used as a wild vegetable - the flowers can be used in Pimms instead of borage flowers. 

I have happily composted it, and it does make really good compost - but first I do what I do with all perennial weeds, and remove flowering tips and roots - they go on the bonfire or in the council bin - I only compost the lush green leaves and stems.

04/04/2014 at 07:01

So thats what its called !  I only ever knew it as "the thing that looks a bit like a forget me not with bigger leaves"

04/04/2014 at 12:51

I've got a lot of forget-me-nots growing in my garden right now. Or have I?! Now I'm wondering if its Alkanet. I'll have to get comparing!

04/04/2014 at 13:23

If the stems and leaves are bristly then it's likely to be alkanet rather than forget-me-nots. 

04/04/2014 at 13:43

...and alkanet's MUCH bigger

04/04/2014 at 16:50

I did as you advised trillium and composted the leaves and stems and the rest will go to the council.  I filled two thirds of a compost bin. Amazing what I found hidden underneath them, bluebells, primroses.  Yeah ! Now to plan what I can fill the gaps with. 

Oh I take it the alkanet will come back, I took out as much root as I could but it breaks off easily.  If I just keep attacking it, will it eventually give up and go away ?

04/04/2014 at 16:52

You can paint any new leaves with a glyphosate weedkiller, then leave it to be absorbed into the roots - glyphosate is pretty effective with alkanet and it won't affect any other plants if you paint it on. 

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