Is it possible to cover it with vinca or another spreading plant? Ground elder, introduced as a vegetable by the Romans, is difficult to eradicate since it regrows from the least remnant of root. For a few years, mowing the grass will weaken the ground elder. Alternatively, cover it with black plastic for a few years. Then remove the plastic and cut the elder back by about half its height. It should die out over time.
If you let it go too long, though, it may spread into other areas of your yard. Ground elder can be controlled by spraying it with glyphosate (trade name Roundup) when only young plants are affected. If you've got large areas of this weed problem, though, you might want to consider some kind of eradication technique. Some farmers use herbicides specifically designed for ground elder; others burn the vegetation off-site. There are also organic methods that can be used; see what works best in your situation.
You will only destroy the ground elder once you have eradicated every trace of it from your garden. Ground elder's roots and stems should not be composted. Put it in a bin or, for extra security, seal it in a black plastic bag and leave it in a sunny location for a few weeks! The sun's heat will kill any germs that may remain on the plant.
If you don't want to risk destroying any other plants, then avoid pulling up ground elder plants. This will make removing them easier. Instead, try one of these methods: pruning, digging out, spraying.
Gardeners often ask about how to get rid of ground elder. It can be difficult to eradicate if you don't know what you're doing, so be careful not to spread its seeds too far. Once you've removed all signs of ground elder, let some seedlings grow up around it before you start new plants in another area. This will prevent further outbreaks.
Chemical approaches to dealing with ground elder As soon as the leaf develops in the spring, apply a systemic weedkiller to it. Reapply every four to six weeks during the growing season, or if new growth occurs. At the end of the season, before you plant into your garden again, make sure to pull out all remaining plants.
A complete removal of ground elder is important to preventing its spread to other parts of the yard or garden. If you do decide to remove ground elder by hand, wear protective clothing and equipment such as gloves, long-sleeved shirts, boots, and eye protection.
Pour a cup of baking soda over a patch of invasive ground elder. Allow it to stay for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how much ground elder there is. Rinse off the soda with a hose or water sprayer.
You can also mix 1 part vinegar with 9 parts water and spray on the ground elder. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes, then rinse off with a hose or water sprayer.
Finally, you can use a homemade herbicide to kill ground elder. Mix 2 cups of glyphosate (generic name for Roundup) with 1 gallon of water. Spray on affected areas and allow to dry before watering again.
Spray established ground elder using a glyphosate-containing systemic weedkiller, such as Roundup Ultra. Spray in the summer when the weeds are at their peak, then reapply in the late summer if necessary. This will reduce the chance of resistance developing.
Elders can also be killed by pulling them out by the roots. This should be done before they go to flower so that any resulting seeds are not able to germinate. Do not burn ground elders because of the risk of spreading pollen which could lead to other plants being affected by this invasive species.
Ground elders can also be controlled by spraying the soil with glyphosate or another herbicide that kills broadleaf plants. This should be done about one month after planting seeds or transplants. You may need to apply it again during the season if you see signs of new growth from the plant.
Finally, cut plants back by about half their height then wait until next year to repeat the process. This will help keep the population under control.
If you find ground elders where they have not been planted, consider these animals natural predators of the plant. Feral pigs, deer, and rabbits can all cause damage by eating the young shoots and leaves. If you want to prevent this happening in future, avoid letting your pets or livestock run free.