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Homeowner seeks advice on exterminating nuisance overtaking their yard: 'My condolences'

"Don't bother trying weedkiller."

"Don't bother trying weedkiller."

Photo Credit: iStock

A Redditor who took to the r/gardening community found plenty of advice, though it wasn't exactly what they wanted to hear.

"Please help," the poster pleaded. "My garden has been taken over by a very successful weed. It is all over the boarders and is now encroaching on the lawns. What is it and what do I do???"

"Don't bother trying weedkiller."
Photo Credit: Reddit

Many tips poured in, identifying the plant as ground elder. They all acknowledged there was much work ahead to oust the invasive species, also known as goutweed.

"My condolences, and best wishes!" one user offered.

Nonnative species outcompete others that belong in the environment, even contributing to the loss of insects, which in turn harms birds and other wildlife higher up the food chain, according to Yale E360.

That's a problem because pollinatorsbees, beetles, butterflies, and other animals — are responsible for carrying pollen between and among flowers. This fertilizes fruits, seeds, and other plants, accounting for one-third of the human food supply and three-quarters of flowering plants, as well as the animal food supply.

You can support these covert operators by rewilding your yard, partially or fully, or turning to native plants instead of traditional turf grass. Other options include clover, buffalo grass, and xeriscaping. All these natural alternatives decrease the need for costly and time-consuming lawn maintenance, and they reduce your water bill.

"Find a great podcast or audiobook that you love, listen to it while weeding and try to see it as relaxing you-time (I kind of love weeding ground elder — I like listening to things and find pulling up the roots really satisfying)," one particularly helpful commenter said.

"It's best to pull up as much of the root as possible, but if you don't have time just mowing it frequently will also slowly weaken it, hoeing it just below the ground is even better."

They added that starving the plant of light by covering it could take years and would blight the area; young leaves of the plant, on the other hand, are edible and make a tasty pesto or ground elder and mustard soup.

Others suggested employing goats, which can produce amazing results.

"Pull it up and keep pulling, three times a week, forever," someone else wrote. "Plant evergreen ground cover, maybe something like lambs ears, oregano, or nepeta, that will outcompete it and won't leave bare soil in the winter. Don't bother trying weedkiller."

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