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Creeping buttercup

Symptoms

Creeping buttercup is easily recognisable by its glossy yellow flowers. It can grow practically anywhere, and spreads quickly via strong runners that root at nodes.
Find it on: all over the garden, but especially on poorly-drained soil
Time to act: spring to autumn

Overview

Creeping buttercup, Ranunculus repens, is easily recognisable by its glossy yellow flowers. It can grow practically anywhere, but particularly likes poorly drained soil. It spreads quickly via strong runners that root along the way. This makes it a tricky weed to eliminate from the garden, as it's difficult to remove the whole plant from the ground. It's best to get rid of it when it's young, before it's had time to spread.
Solution
Creeping buttercup is easily recognisable by its glossy yellow flowers. It can grow practically anywhere, and spreads quickly via strong runners that root at nodes.
Organic
The most effective organic approach is to dig out the plant wherever it appears using a fork or trowel. Mulching deeply is ideal for smothering the weed. In lawns, in the worst case scenario, lift the turf and replace it.
Chemical
In lawns, you can get rid of the weed using a lawn weedkiller, such as a 2, 4-D-based herbicide. Apply it in cool, moist and calm weather when there's least risk of accidentally spraying nearby garden plants.



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Talkback: Creeping buttercup
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tarttartan 24/11/2011 at 15:27

I have creeping buttercup in my borders and attack it from early spring by digging up any plants and runners I can see. This is generally easier to do in spring before the shrubs etc start spreading. Hopefully I will beat the buttercup one of these years but so far the little monsters keep fighting back!

FlamingJune 24/11/2011 at 15:28

What is with gardeners and wild flowers. Embrace your buttercups and learn to love them. Perfection is the demon that will drive you mad.
Incidentally, they look really good inbetween paving stones.

dpayne 24/11/2011 at 15:28

I have just moved into a house that has no lawn but a mass of creeping buttercup, ragwort and stinging nettles. I have been advised to dig it all up before laying grass seed or planting. The problem is that some of the roots are going down upto 2 foot and as the area is 30 by 15 foot this is back braking work. Any suggestions on an easier/cheap method?

Michael_McK 24/11/2011 at 15:28

A few years I moved into a house whose back 'lawn' (maybe grass is more honest description of it) was also a mess I weed-killered the whole lot hired a rotovator, carefully dug it over sowed grass seed and regret to say it's now full of moss and not major but still annoyingly large amounts of daisies, dandelions etc. Try your best, but remember immaculately maintained beautiful gardens also speak of someone with lots of time on their hands or lots of money - how much do you have?

muckypaws 24/11/2011 at 15:29

It may have pretty yellow flowers but when it smothering rhubarb it needs getting out!

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