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From the team at Gardeners' World Magazine
Leaves and tiny yellow flower buds of groundsel, Senecio vulgaris

Groundsel

Published: Sunday, 3 March, 2019 at 3:00 pm

Learn how to manage groundsel in our expert guide.

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Groundsel is able to produce lots of seed, and several generations of this weed can grow in a single growing season. Plants can overwinter and act as a host for rust fungus. This weed is adaptable to a wide range of growing conditions. Seed can blow in from surrounding gardens, fields and waste ground.

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Symptoms

A bushy weed that bears small yellow flowers and fluffy seedheads. Its leaves often have orange-brown pustules of rust fungus in summer and autumn, which can spread to cultivated plants.

Find it on

established flowerbeds, freshly cultivated soil, paving, walls

Organic

Pull out young plants by hand before they get the chance to flower and seed. Alternatively, hoe through the surface of the soil to chop them off at the roots. Remove weeds and dispose of them (not on the compost heap) to prevent them re-establishing.

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Chemical

Kill the seedlings and young plants by applying a contact weedkiller to the foliage. It's important to do this early in the weed's life, as weedkiller applied to plants in flower may not kill them before they are able to set viable seed.

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