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Oxalis – Natural Weed Control

There are many kinds of oxalis with different coloured flowers. This has to be one of the most frustrating weeds in the garden. It spreads prolifically and is a real challenge to eradicate. The main problem is that you can pull out the weed but under the soil is a parent bulb with a number of little bulblets attached to it. If even one of these gets left behind it will soon grow into a parent bulb. Disturbing the soil only makes matters worse as the little bulblets spread and multiply in quantity. I have even found some in my raised beds! There are a few products on the market such as ‘death to oxalis’ but as an organic gardener that is not something I would want in my vege patch! There is no quick fix solution for oxalis and you can expect to persevere for 2-3 years before finally getting rid of all of it.

Here are a few ideas you can try but remember, you will have to continue to keep on top of it to get a really good result. They all work on the principle that the leaves take energy from the sun so if you keep killing the foliage the bulb will eventually weaken and die.

· Pour boiling water over the leaves. Continue to do this every time new shoots come through

· Cut off the foliage, new leaves will appear and you will need to cut these immediately, before they can get energy from the sun.

· Mix up 2 tablespoons baking soda, a squirt of dishwashing liquid, 500ml water and squirt on oxalis area, preferably on a hot day. Repeat to weaken re-growth until it disappears.

Happy gardening – Sarah Davies Patch from Scratch

16 comments on “Oxalis – Natural Weed Control

  1. Natural weed control is appealing. What ever you go for, little & often seems the key

  2. You can also cover with plastic – it tends to go very quickly then gets burnt off with the summer heat.

  3. That should have read “grow” not “go”!

  4. chemical all the way!! death to oxalis

  5. Jim Ingram on said:

    hi i have two plum trees but i dont get any plums the most i have had is two plums on one tree any sugestions

  6. I am currently battling oxalis in the vegie patch. What I am trying is to cut the leaves off as close to the base as possible, and then smother with mulch. When plants regrow (and they do!) I am repeating the process. It seems to take patience. There are also at least 3 different types in my small patch and the small leafed, ground hugging one is the worst!

  7. michele dunlop on said:

    hi
    I woud like to know more about: what weeds coming through mean about my soils.
    thanks
    micheled

  8. there was just a comment about that on radio live garden show this morn re permanent death of oxalis but i missed it… an old lady rang in with remedy…

  9. Hi Jim – your plum trees
    Most plums need good cross pollinaton. Here is a tip learnt from an old orcharder – Help out the bees, is what he called it. Take a branch or two of good blossum from one tree, drop them into a bucket of water, then hang the bucket up inside your other tree. Works a treat ,specially done over nice couple of days when the bees are working.

  10. greenie on said:

    If I spray my garden with the baking soda solution to kill the oxalis will it damaged any vegetables , potatoes beans corn etc, will it kill any other weeds?

  11. If you are careful to spray just the Oxalis it will be fine. The Baking soda wont kill any other plants in small doses but it might burn some leaves.

  12. Re; oxalis dig out plants as they emerge with small trowel or spade taking soil around plant at same time so bulbs underneath will not be disturbed, deposit the lot in rubbish bin and give to council next collection day.

  13. You can also put the bulbs into a barrel of water and wait 12 months until all is rotten and liquid. You can also add tap roots such as dock to this liquid and use as a liquid feed for your garden. make sure everything is rotten.

  14. Margaret on said:

    Won’t the genes of the Oxalis remain in the water and begin their life cycle all over again when poured onto the ground?

  15. Megan on said:

    If I was to put some old carpet down, and put fresh topsoil on top that was uncontaminated with Oxalis bulbs, will they eventually die?
    Apart from bulbs, how do they spread? Is it important to pull them out before they flower?

  16. Yea that could work.

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