Gundermann, also known as ground ivy, flowers quite handsomely, but if you give the plant the opportunity, you risk that the weeds will soon take over the entire garden. Chemistry would probably be the easiest way to put the rampant growth in its place. For the nature-conscious gardener, however, weed killers are out of the question. Instead, he can also combat ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) biologically. With these means, the annoying weed disappears from the lawn.
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How does ground ivy reproduce?
The mother plant of the Gundelrebe forms around two meter long runners in a short time. New offshoots grow on the strands about 10 cm apart. Whether walls get in the way of the plant is irrelevant. It also makes no demands on the site conditions. The gardener will find the plant in full sun as well as in shady beds. In addition, the ground ivy uses the wind to propagate through seeds. Focused combat is therefore difficult, but not impossible. The most common reason for the appearance of weeds is an imbalance in the lawn.
Dangers of the Gundelvine
The enormous spread of the plant not only reduces the appearance of the garden. Two other reasons make it necessary to combat ground ivy. On the one hand, the weed is very susceptible to fungal diseases and threatens to infect other plants. On the other hand, it robs other plants and the lawn of light and nutrients, causing them to wither.
Use Glechoma hederacea
Although the large-scale spread is a thorn in the side of many gardeners, the ground vine does not only have bad qualities. The plant is non-toxic to humans and therefore suitable for consumption. Many years ago, the creeping ivy was used as a medicinal plant for coughs and asthma. In addition, the hot leaves from your own garden are an inexpensive substitute for pepper in salads.
Remove foothills manually
The easiest, albeit most laborious, way to naturally remove ground ivy is to rip out any parts of the plant.
- Locate mother plant
- pull them out along with the roots
- Follow the growth direction of the stolon strands
- remove them along with the root
Unfortunately, this method is only successful if the gardener does not overlook any roots, no matter how small. Even a single strand is enough for renewed explosive growth. Moreover, the manual removal must be done continuously.
Use weed puller
Using a weed puller is easier and more ergonomic than pulling the root strands out of the ground with rough hands. Equipped with two metal tips, the tool also penetrates deep soil. With the shallow-rooted creeping ivy, however, this is hardly necessary.
So that there is no laborious work in the first place, it is advisable to deprive the weeds of the favorable conditions. First of all, the gardener should close any gaps in the lawn. Otherwise, after removal, the plant will quickly spread again. Competing plants can help here.
Adjust soil pH
When optimizing the soil conditions, the pH value plays a crucial role. Light soils should have a value of 6.0, while heavy soils with a value of 7.0 can be slightly more alkaline. In order to enrich the environment accordingly, the gardener works sand or chippings into the lawn.
Although the ground ivy is quite robust, it is not immune to stress. On the one hand, sidewalks prevent it from spreading, and on the other hand, frequent walking on the lawn prevents it from growing.
Gardeners can also buy weed killers that are declared organic. Depending on the product, the application differs:
General rules for fighting ground ivy
- best time: early May or late October
- usually available in spray or effervescent bottles
- Use in warm weather if possible
- do not use immediately after mowing
- detailed instructions can be found on the packaging
- only works after a few days
- multiple applications are often necessary
Rules for combating with liquid herbicides
- spray on dry plants
- use on rainy days
- use when there is no wind
- Spray on ground ivy preferably in the evening (morning dew inhibits the effect)
- Spray leaves intensively (fine nozzle required)
- Outside temperature of at least 10°C and at most 25°C
Rules for fighting with combination products with fertilizer
- apply when morning dew wets the leaves
- otherwise water a few hours before
- Or wait for a rain shower
Inappropriate control methods
Products contaminated with chemicals, on the other hand, are not only harmful to the other plants, but also have no proven effect. Anyone who wants to tackle the Gundermann with the lawn mower will also fail. On the contrary, low grass makes it easier for the ground ivy to grow.
As long as you are fighting ground ivy, you should not fertilize your lawn. In this way, it deprives the creeping ivy of important nutrients. This also applies to scarifying. After mowing, he should remove the lawn clippings immediately.
Disposal of removed plant remains
It is well known that harmful plants do not belong in the compost from prunings affected by fungus. However, this does not apply to the Gundermann. If you dry the root strands that have been torn out on a stone in the sun for a few hours, you don’t risk the plant spreading again. The gardener can therefore dispose of them in the compost with a clear conscience.