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Problem solving

Clearing a large area of Ground Elder

We have approx 160sq m. covered in Ground Elder and Nettles, We'd like to turn it into a 'wild' area with grass and lots of spring bulbs. What is the most effective way of getting rid of the Ground Elder?

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I'd really appreciate any tips! I've heard black plastic for a year can do it, or  would we need to resort to chemicals?

Kate Bradbury

Hi Rose7, thick black plastic, cardboard or weed-supressant membrane (which can be expensive) for a year would probably do the job, though ground elder is quite difficult to eradicate. I'm interested to see that you're hoping to turn it into a wild area... ground elder and nettles are pretty wild already. Nettles in particular are fantastic for ladybirds, butterflies and moths, many of which are in decline. And ground elder has flat, umbel-type flowers, which are particularly suited to butterflies and hoverflies. So it might be worth saving time and effort and just leaving your wild patch, as it sounds like it is already a great wildlife habitat.


Yes, I know, that's true! Maybe 'wild' was the wrong term. We want rough grass we'd cut just twice a year, with spring bulbs and early summer self seeding flowers which would make an area which can be used for the children to play in or to put the rug out in on warmer days. Also the Ground Elder is spreading.....



Ive had ground elder before and no matter how much i dug it out it always came back, so i would resort to chemicals to get rid for good, and i dont use chemical very often.

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