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I have a small woodland area which has lovely bluebells growing (along with forget-me-nots and a few ferns).

In one area (approx. 2sq m) of the bluebells, I'm being over run by weeds such as sticky buds, dandelion and some other weeds that I have no idea what they are.

Either side of this weedy patch is fairly clear of weeds and doesn't take much looking after.

However, the dreaded weedy patch is driving me crackers. I spend several hours a week pulling up the weeds, only for more to appear soon after. They plants are that dense that I struggle to differentiate between weeds and bluebells.

I was wondering what would be the best way to get rid of the stickybuds etc before they spread even further?

Is there a weed killer that would attack the stickybuds but leave the bluebells? I could just about cope with the loss of the forget-me-nots and ferns if I regained my sanity :)  

nutcutlet

A woodland area should be full of life, not death. Gardening is all about selective weeding. Nothing stands still.

hogweed

There is something drastically wrong if you are spending a few hours a week weeding a patch six feet by six feet!  Are you just pulling the weeds up or are you digging them out? 

After clearing it all thoroughly I would put down a thick layer of mulch and see what happens. That should control the weeds. But I would have thought a woodland habitat is the ideal place for weeds. Are you trying to cultivate beds in the woodland area and planting them up?

Obelixx

There are no weedkillers that discriminate between weeds and bluebells.  You'll have to do it by hand.

Sticky bud is nasty but does succumb if you pull it up regularly and can use a hand fork to get roots too.   Dandelions just re-grow if you only pull up the leaves so use a fork or prong to get the entire root out.  Also, a daily hoeing by hand will decapitate weeds and starve the roots so don't weed and then leave it too long.

Once cleaned, the area can be mulched with leaf mold or chipped bark to a depth of 2" to cut out the light and prevent further germination and it should then become more manageable.

Thanks for the quick response people :)

nutcutlet - The woodland area is on the edge of my lawn, I'm quite happy for certain plants to flourish, however I don't want my garden to be overrun by stickybuds and several of the other weedy kinds. My house had been rented out for several years before I bought it and left to rack and ruin (I've managed to control the brambles and ivy so far and put up several bird boxes and feeders), I'm trying my best to get it back to its former glory but this one patch is driving me insane!

hogweed - I've just been pulling the weeds out as they're that closely packed with the bluebells that digging them out would be impossible at the moment unless I dig everything up and upset the bluebells?

My mother recommended mowing the bluebells to get the weeds cut back but I just cant bring myself to do that.

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Dovefromabove

One year's weeds make seven years' seeds.  Whatever you do those seeds will keep germinating until they're all used up.  You'll have to just keep weeding and not letting the weeds set seed ...  there isn't any other way .... sorry ... even if you dug the bluebells out and sprayed the weeds, next spring the seeds would germinate again .... 

Last edited: 16 May 2017 14:58:58

Thanks for the responses,

Dovefromabove, "One year's weeds make seven years' seeds" that's such a true comment!

So basically I keep going with pulling them out, mulch it and start praying that I don't get as many next year?

I wouldn't use a weedkiller either, pulling out as much of the weed root  as possible and then mulching with wood chip would be my preferred option.  It shouldn't matter too much if you disturb the bluebells at this time of year - once they have finished flowering you could even dig up the whole area - remove as much weed and root as possible and then divide and replant the bluebells.  The bb's will come back next year.

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