Left unchecked, hairy bittercress can quickly spread to infest the whole garden. This weed can complete its lifecycle in three to four weeks to disperse thousands of seeds, all of which can germinate to release their own seeds in quick succession. Bittercress may be introduced as seed, seedlings or as plants in compost when buying new plants from nurseries or garden centres. It may also spread from neighbouring gardens or remain dormant at depth in the soil to be brought to the surface by cultivation. Plants are also able to overwinter.
Small short-lived annual plants which spread rapidly by means of small seeds dispersed from spring-like seedpods.
Find it on
freshly-cultivated ground in borders, pots, paving, walls, vegetable plots
Remove young plants before they get a chance to flower and set seed. Pull them out individually by hand or hoe off young seedlings and remove from the soil surface. Avoid deep cultivation which brings up new seeds. Apply a mulch to the surface after weeding to prevent further germination.
Use contact weedkiller to kill seedlings and young plants before they grow and get a chance to flower.