goutweed control and beginner gardener help

(Question)

1. A few years ago, a weed, which I think is goutweed, was introduced to my garden. I’ve been battling it, but didn’t do much for a year, and now it has completely taken over my garden. I don’t want to lose my perennials, so it there some suggestion about what I can do to control this weed?

2. I don’t know much about gardening and would like to find someone to show me what to do and perhaps help me with figuring out how to do the heavier work more easily. Is there some recommendation on how I might find someone to hire occasionally to help me out? I don’t want to pay someone else to do all the work, just for occasional help and advice.

Thanks

(Answer)

 

Thank you for your inquiry. Sorry to hear that you have to do battle with goutweed. Long touted for its ability to thrive in areas where little else will set foot, goutweed is considered by many as the ultimate low-maintenance ground cover for shade or part-shade. That’s because, once established, this low-growing perennial with its all-green or variegated foliage spreads vigously by vegetative means, extending its rhizome system to form large colonies without any encouragement. Therin lies the problem.

Eradicating goutweed takes time and patience. In order to get rid of Goutweed properly, you need to follow its root and completely unearth it. This is easier after a good rain. Please note that just 5mm of root left will create a new plant. Of course this job is easier if you do not have other plants in the area. If there are shrubs or trees, the roots of the goutweed will intertwine with that of the shrub or tree and are difficult to eliminate. If the area has perennials, it may be advisable to dig them and clean/eliminate any of the Goutweed roots. Rhizomes should be bagged and disposed of to prevent reestablishment.

Frequent mowing at short heights can control or slow the spread of goutweedbut will not make it disappear. However, not allowing the goutweed to bloom,  will stop future plants from germinating. Doing this early in the year just after the plant has fully leafed out, and covering the entire colony with black plastic sheeting afterwards, is a great way to exhaust its energy reserves.

As for finding someone to help you in your garden I would suggest checking with your local garden centre. The people that work there have a wealth of knowledge and experience. Also, check out  landscape companies  in your area. Most of them would be willing to come and help out with the heavier work.

Good Luck batteling the goutweed. Remeber to have patience and be diligent.