Ground Elder & Green Manure

Have just returned from a client’s house where we are developing an absolutely beautiful design for her front garden. Brief – out with the roses, in with beneficial/edible plants. Our favourite kind of brief!

But before we could start dreaming, one problem. Ground elder. Ground elder, and more ground elder. So how to get rid of it in an organic way, without resorting to chemicals/herbicides? Our answer was simple…if somewhat laborious.

After many an hour of digging out those oh-so invasive weeds, and creating the shape of our new beds, we helped the neighbourhood recycling team, by procuring several hundred cardboard boxes, which we laid down, covered with a tonne of compost, and scattered some wonderful green manure seeds on the top. Having returned 2 weeks labour, the green manure; a mix of Hungarian grazing rye, tares and phacelia (chosen for mix of shape, texture and hue, not forgetting time of year growing potential) have started to grow. We will leave the green manure to grow and cover the ground until late February, after which will dig it in and start to plan ..

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