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Cleavers

Symptoms

A short-lived plant that grows sticky mats of foliage, which can swamp cultivated plants. It produces sticky seeds, which can be spread around the garden by animals and on clothing.
Find it on: freshly-cultivated ground in borders, established flowerbeds, pots, vegetable plots
Time to act: spring, summer, autumn

Overview

Cleavers grows rapidly during warm weather. The sticky stems are able to scramble around the garden, smothering small, cultivated plants and setting masses of seed. It's usually introduced on the coats of animals, birds' feathers or human clothing. Its lifecycle is approximately eight weeks from germination to setting seed.
Solution
A short-lived plant that grows sticky mats of foliage, which can swamp cultivated plants. It produces sticky seeds, which can be spread around the garden by animals and on clothing.
Organic
Remove cleavers regularly by hand, or hoe off young seedlings before they set seed. Avoid getting seeds on clothing, as this can inadvertently spread it around the garden. Mulch borders with a 5cm layer of garden compost or composted bark to suppress seedlings.
Chemical
Apply a contact weedkiller when the plants are young and before they get a chance to flower.



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Talkback: Cleavers
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sheilabonney 24/11/2011 at 15:27

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.

rogerdennis 24/11/2011 at 15:27

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.

cloud8 02/03/2012 at 21:51

my cats like to spread this around

cloud8 03/03/2012 at 08:58

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.

David Saunders 28/04/2012 at 14:13

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

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