Possibly the most pernicious of all garden weeds, and usually very difficult to eradicate completely. The same treatment may prove highly successful in one garden and a complete failure in another. The white roots and rhizomes are decidedly brittle and any piece left in the soil rapidly makes a new plant. Underground roots of this weed may grow up to 3 ft. long in a season even on heavy clay. Forking or pulling out the young shoots helps to keep down this weed. The aim should be to prevent the weed from producing leaves; this will starve the rhizomes which eventually die. Sodium chlorate, MCPA or 2, 4, 5-T weedkillers can be used to kill ground elder, provided the land is not under cultivation. Repeated treatments will usually be needed, occasional dressings rarely sufficing to control ground elder.

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