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This info on cleavers is interesting as I keep getting this weed on my allotment. Do you have any info how to deal best with horsetail this is another pest I have.
i usually get loads of this and now I know what it is I can do something about it.thanks for your tips they are very useful.
my cats like to spread this around

Regarding horse tail - I used to have this in my old garden and it gradually got weaker as I kept digging it out as far down as I could and I made sure none of the leaves (are they leaves?) broke off into the soil to prevent new ones growing.  Good luck.

Am I to belive that these weeds are NOT to be put on a compost heap at all ???????????/


Green Magpie

I'm hoping to refresh this thread, as I was going to ask the same thing. We suddenly have a plague of cleavers (aka goose grass or "sticky willie"), probably because we reomved a big conifer and there's a lot more light in this part of the garden. Can I compost it or will it return to haunt me next year?


One good thing about cleavers....if you cut yourself in the garden, squished cleavers pressed against the cut will stop the bleeding; it's a natural coagulant

If also heard an infusion of cleavers, made to a strong tea, is supposed to help heal leg ulcers when infusion soaked cloths, bandages or tea bags are applied to the leg.

I have tried contact weed killers and nothing seems to be happening, please please what else can be done?


My tortoises love them but right now I could feed half of galapagos with the growth they've put on in the warm, wet conditions!

Green Magpie

A bit of research with the help pf Mr Google suggests that it's fine to put cleavers on the compost as long as you do it before it's set seed (around August).


Good to know.  I was in two minds about the compost bin.

Be careful removing cleavers by hand. Last year some wrapped itself round my wrist and I came up in nasty blisters which took weeks to heal and left a dark brown scar all summer.

Yes my cats too spread this around!! It's not too bad if you can keep on top of it by pulling them out before they have seeds. Any one know a failsafe method for killing broadleaf ivy as its creeping over from a neighbours and ruining my expensive fence? thanks in advance.

As you say it is shortlived and mine has almost died away now. It only appeared for the first time last year and hadn't reached the back garden but I saw a few strands this year there. The front was overrun with it and I keep pulling it out but I can't see there is anything else I can do.Thankfully it is the only really difficult weed I have although I bought a load of topsoil which produced little docks and nettles. They are so small that I'm able to pull them out easily but you have to keep your eyes open all the time.


Cleavers or Goose grass is edible. Instead of treating with chemicals, pop in a steamer and cook like spinach. Has been eaten for centuries.

Fine if you pick it young - once it's flowered and gone to seed it's not pleasant.


Best composted young for me

I have cleavers all over our bluebell wood so cant spray and a bit challenging to do by hand. Any suggestions please. Tragog


I find it so easy to pull out that I wouldn't bother with weedkillers, just yank it out. Big patches can be pulled out with a rake (the sticky branches work in your favour here!) Firmly rooted bluebells and other plants will be left looking ragged for a while but will survive. (If they do get accidentally raked out of the ground, quickly replant them!)