Perennial weeds

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General characterisitics

Grow for several seasons from strong underground roots and can regrow from any small segments of root that have been separated from the main plant. Because of this feature perennial weeds cannot be easily composted or chopped up and left in the ground (the more you chop em, the more you make). If you have trouble identifying young perennial weeds from seeds you have planted you could even have a think about sowing a small number of weed seeds in sterile compost early in the season (just so you could recognise your enemy!)

list of types




Bindweeds are annual or herbaceous perennial vines in the genus Convolvulus, in the Morning Glory family Convolvulaceae.

Many of the species are problematic weeds, which can swamp other more valuable plants by climbing over them, but some are also deliberately grown for their attractive flowers.

This species occurs in many temperate regions. They are mostly slender, creeping winding vines. A few are small perennials. They have simple, alternate leaves and wide funnel-shaped flowers.

Convolvulus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the leaf-miner Bucculatrix cantabricella which feeds exclusively on Convolvulus cantabricus.



Couch grass

Also Known as: Quack Grass, Twitch Grass, Quick Grass, Scutch Grass, Wheat Grass, Devil's Grass.

The best way to keep it down is to dig out the roots & burn them. Or there is allways weed killer.

Contributors to this site have advised smothering the couch by sowing rye grass after the ground has been rotavated since rye grass seemed to smother nearly all the perennials.

Other methods are: Dig up all the grass and stack it up (upside down) in a really high heap for at least 3 years. Dig up as much as you can and sow turnip seed really thickly, then rotavate in. Cover with high quality woven plastic membrane for 2 years

Apply a glyphosate based weed-killer such as Roundup in Mid May, then scrape off the dead grass after about 3 to 4 weeks and dig and plant veg.

Once the soil was clear I made sure that something is always growing in it. Sowing poached egg plant, (Limanthes dougasii) is good to keep the ground relatively clear of the twitch.

Ground elder


picture of ground elder

Ground Elder (Aegopodium podagraria), also known as Goutweed, Herb Gerard, Bishop's Weed and Snow-in-the-mountain was introduced by the when anyone refers to what the Roman's did for can have your say!!

Although many reference the efficacy of glyphosate based weedkillers I have had no luck with them at all. I try not to use any weedkillers, but the ground elder invasion was just too much, so I used a glyphospate weedkiller, which killed the foliage above ground but led to a massive sprouting along the plant's entire root system. I lost a year or more and quadrupled my problem!!

I concluded that the only way to remove it was to physically dig up the plant and where I could not eliminate it (under hedges, create a barrier against it to avoid it re-colonising cleared areas. Whilst hard work, the heavy tangle of roots the plant creates makes removal easy, you have to be very vigilant and remove every shred of root. To follow up you need to revisit the area regularly to dig up "the ones that got away", it is amazing to see a small ground elder leaf and trace it 8 or 10 inches below ground to a small 1/2 inch piece of root!!

Tender leaves can also be used as a spring leaf vegetable much like spinach and eating the foe makes it taste all the better. It has historically been used to treat gout and arthritis.


Roots can grow three feet deep. I have found them at this depth when excavating. I read recently that Nasturtiums will smother Horsetail. Glyphosate seems to knock them back. Moving house or plot also works.



Creeping thistle