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