Due to the shape of its leaves, which are reminiscent of the hoof of a goat, the gosling is also called goat’s foot. Typical of the umbelliferous plant is its triangular petiole, from which three groups of leaves emerge – each of which has three leaves. The so-called “rule of three” is a sure sign that the proliferating weed is groundweed. The white umbel flowers, which stick their heads into the air between June and July, are also clearly visible. And serve as a food source for many bees and butterflies. Unfortunately, the plant has a natural habit of spreading unhindered via its underground rhizomes. If you want to prevent this, you can use various methods.

Since the goutweed can sow itself above ground via its seeds and at the same time migrate through the soil with its rhizomes, it is advisable to remove the umbelliferous plant early on as a young plant. The three following methods show how this works best.

Method 1: To banish weeds from the beds in the long term, the most effective method is to remove the rhizomes, which are up to 30 centimeters deep, from the soil in autumn or spring. It is important to know that you have to get the entire weave – if you miss just a tiny piece, the gooseweed can sprout again. Proceed as follows: Loosen the (unplanted) soil gradually with a digging fork and expose the rhizome network. Do not use a spade as there is too high a risk of damaging the underground parts of the plant while digging. Then dispose of the weeds in the residual waste and not in the compost.

Note: Remove the groundweed before it forms seeds, as removing them will spread via the wind and then resprout.

Method 2: For long-term weed control, you can nip the groundweed (literally) in the bud. All you need is some cardboard or a weed fleece – and a lot of patience. This method lasts several years before the umbelliferous plant disappears from the beds completely. Proceed as follows: First, the leaves and stems must be completely cut off with secateurs before placing one of the above-mentioned covering options over the ground and weighing it down with sufficient bark mulch (approx. ten centimeters are required). After about two years the rhizomes should be completely dead.

Method 3: Another way to combat groundweed is to use chemical weed killers – so-called herbicides. However, this method should only be used if your beds are completely overgrown and you have no other way out. It is important to know that application is not possible across the board if your beds are planted. Otherwise, the treatment would not only damage the weeds, but also other plants around them. On unplanted areas you can combat groundweed with a weed killer; the exact application can be found on the manufacturer’s packaging.

Note: Do not apply herbicide in rain (or dew). The umbelliferous plant should be dry every time it is treated. It is also advisable not to let pets get to the goosegrass when the product is being used. It should also make sense to treat weeds from a height of ten centimeters so that the plants can absorb enough herbicides.

Source: My Beautiful Garden

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