June 13, 2019

Me, the Goutweed Removal Machine!


Saving a Bedford Park, Toronto Front Garden Bed


The proverb "Give them an inch and they'll take a mile" applies to many weedy perennial groundcovers plaguing Toronto gardeners. You may know the culprits by sight, if not by name: creeping bellflower, lily of the valley, plain green and variegated goutweed and let's not even dare mention Japanese Knotweed

In this short post, I'll show you how aggressively the plain Jane green version of goutweed or ground elder (Aegopodium podagraria ) can move through a garden bed and cause havoc with other plants. I've dug out as much of the goutweed last year but obviously by the "before" pictures below, not enough was removed as it has come back with a vengeance.

This view below is from the front door looking towards the street. The goutweed has travelled uninterrupted to cover about two-thirds of the rectangular front bed. You'd never know there many "choice" perennials engulfed by the goutweed but they will be revealed...



Bedford Park Toronto Front Yard Goutweed Removal Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Bedford Park Toronto Front Yard
Goutweed Removal Cleanup Before


Here's the view looking across the bed:

Bedford Park Front Yard Goutweed Removal Spring Garden Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Bedford Park Front Yard Goutweed
 Removal Spring Garden Cleanup Before

And from the other side...

Bedford Park Toronto Front Yard Goutweed Removal Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Bedford Park Toronto Front Yard
Goutweed Removal Cleanup Before


Looking up the path leading to the front door:

Toronto Bedford Park Front Yard Goutweed Removal Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Toronto Bedford Park Front Yard
Goutweed Removal Cleanup Before


Post Goutweed Removal:



Bedford Park Toronto Front Yard Goutweed Removal Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Bedford Park Toronto Front Yard
Goutweed Removal Cleanup After 




Bedford Park Front Yard Goutweed Removal Spring Garden Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Bedford Park Front Yard Goutweed
Removal Spring Garden Cleanup After

Ironically, this cleanup forced me to divide many perennials like hostas, daylilies and irises that had goutweed stems and roots infiltrating their own root balls. 



Bedford Park Toronto Front Yard Goutweed Removal Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Bedford Park Toronto Front Yard
Goutweed Removal Cleanup After 

The new mulch will help reduce airborne weed seeds from germinating (and lower watering needs) but is completely ineffective in stopping weeds that travel by underground stems or roots. The goutweed ignores this surface layer and happily moves through the bed unless you do something about it.



Toronto Bedford Park Front Yard Goutweed Removal Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Toronto Bedford Park Front Yard
Goutweed Removal Cleanup After
 


My g(o)ut(weed) feeling is that the infestation problem will occur unless this client hires me or someone to dig out new baby goutweed plants which inevitably will return, even with my best efforts.


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