Goutweed Barrier


For years, we have diligently been digging gout weed out of our gardens. It gets in the roots of all our plants, spreads like wildfire and it is driving me crazy.

This gout weed is coming under the wooden fence from our neighbour’s yard. They will not take care of it so that is not an option.

I’m starting to think that some form of barrier dug into the ground at the fence may be a good way of trying to better control this. I figure I would have to dig down at least a foot into the dirt and insert something “wall-like”. My husband is thinking metal flashing, dug down into the dirt or something like that. Do you think this would help ? This is a long fence line so cost is a factor. I would also like something that is not an eye sore. Wondering if you have any ideas. What would you suggest ?

Thanks so much for your help !


I agree with your husband. In fact we have installed a barrier between our yard and the neighbour to control creeping bellflower.  The link below suggests inserting a barrier to the depth of  21 cm (8″).  I suggest at least 12 ” as gardens often grow higher with mulching etc. and you want at least 5-7 cm sticking up above ground so you can see it in order to avoid kneeling on it when gardening.  We used grey rolled sheet aluminum which we purchased from an aluminum siding supplier or a someone who does flashing or soffit work.  Ours was about 40 cm wide and we cut it with shears meant for metal.  Put cut side down.  we don’t notice it at all.  I don’t recall the price.  Perhaps you may come up with another idea, but do not use wood or thin plastic as these will deteriorate with time.  Once you have dug down as close to the fence as possible insert the metal barrier and fill with new soil.  Dig several feet past the end of the gout weed bed as the smart little devil will look to spread around the end of the barrier.  Discard the gout weed infested soil in heavy black plastic bags and put out for garbage not yard waste.  The article below suggests how to remove the gout weed from your side of the barrier.  I’m not sure if this approach will be a ‘once and for all’ solution, but it should go along way toward controlling the spread.  You will need to dislodge the goutweed roots from all your plants and the best way of doing that is digging them out, examining the roots and fishing out the goutweed roots.  good luck.