Buttercup Woes!!!

Discussion in 'Garden Pest Management and Identification' started by Eve von Paradis, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. Eve von Paradis

    Eve von Paradis Active Member

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    I have inherited a garden sprawling with buttercups. I don't mind if they are in the grass,but here's the problem: a few years ago, I wanted to create more flower beds and was reluctant to use any pesticides, so I gathered all my angry thoughts and channeled all that energy to digging up unbelievable amounts of sod (a delightful mix of grass/buttercups and other stragglers). Unfortunately, THEY'RE BAAACK!!! .

    Then I was really busy for a few years, and man oh man... you all can figure out what happened. So anyhoos, I'm of 2 minds now: Should I dig them all out again, then grow a groundcover that can compete with them? Any recommendations on what kind of groundcover can compete with buttercups and at the same time permit me to grow other shrubs and perennials?

    For crying out loud, my buttercup woes even inspired a burlesque of an ode! see my thread in "conversations" titled "Poetry is the P in N-P-K"!!!
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Maybe change the soil conditions, perhaps even installing drain lines if possible. Creeping buttercup grows in certain kinds of wetland-type soils. Indicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (1989, UBC Press, Vancouver) says it does not like shade, does like moisture and nitrogen, pops up after disturbance in wet places - especially exposed mineral soils along streams. Since the soil on your plot is therefore apparently fertile (nitrogen-rich) maybe you can shade the buttercup out with a taller plant such as bamboo or other vigorous shrubs or perennials responding to similar conditions.
     
  3. 1950Greg

    1950Greg Active Member

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    Get in there on your hands and knees and systematically pull ever last one of them roots and all out of the ground. There is nothing I know of that will compete with buttercups and not become a plague themselves.
     
  4. Dana09

    Dana09 Active Member

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    Hire somebody else to get down on their hands & knees to do it for you.

    This nuisance is coming thru the fence at me, creeping under the black cloth weed barrier, thru the shade of shrubs to appear in my lawn when it can.
    Due to diligence and a keen eye I have managed to keep it out of my yard.

    Don't turn your back on this one!

    D
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Any taller, adequately dense yet visually appealing plant will elbow out the buttercup with its growth in time. It does not have to be another creeper or other type with questing roots. Creeping buttercup is a seral (pioneer) species, that can be made to give way to taller plants coming along behind it in a planting just as occurs in the wild. As with other weeds in ornamental beds the main problem with the weed is that you don't like how it looks.

    An instructor I had once used to say the most common groundcover plant here was Douglas fir.
     
  6. Dana09

    Dana09 Active Member

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    Is it possible to dry them up?
    Cover them over & smother them?
    Just wondering.

    D
     
  7. 2annbrow

    2annbrow Active Member

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    Have tried everything [except chemicals]to get rid of mine, with little luck. And mine seem to thrive in sun, dense shade, & everything in between. Bah.
     
  8. Eve von Paradis

    Eve von Paradis Active Member

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    Hello RonB,
    Yes, you are right about them loving the wet and wet!! I mean some buttercups do manage to grow in the dry areas of my garden but they're not exactly thriving and breeding in those parts. On the other hand, they have established colonies in the fertile and moist-est part of my garden.

    Hi 1950Greg,

    I HAVE pulled out all the buttercups in one large area as best as I could, but it's quite impossible to get at every fragment of root. So they did spring back in a few months.

    You know, Dana09, I have quite sucessfully covered other portions of my mixed salad of a lawn with newspaper-cardboard combo .. but it ain't 100% weed/grass proof but still this method has eliminated a good portion of the baddies...except for morning glory whose underworld system of tentacles are quite far-reaching. ... kinda like some people, eh??!!

    The one area I'm thinking about already has some small perennials and bushes planted, so I'm reluctant to dig them out in order to cover this area with cardboard.

    I think I'll just have one more go at the buttercups again .. old school style, i.e elbow grease and all, then plant a whole bunch of plants to crowd them out as Ron B was also suggesting.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2009
  9. 2annbrow

    2annbrow Active Member

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    Location:
    North Bend OR US;Oregon coast, just N of Coos Bay
    Yes. Buttercups are like crabgrass - you just have to keep digging & pulling, and leave them no place to grow, or learn to live with them.
     
  10. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Moved discussion re: crabgrass or quackgrass to this thread, so that this thread can stay on the topic of buttercups.
     
  11. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    My lawn had more buttercups than I could remove by weeding in one area. So I turned the sod over with a digging fork and reseeded with grass. This worked very well, leaving the lawn free of buttercups for many years now, with only a minimal amount of weeding required. The soil is sandy/gravelly and well drained; so that probably helped.
     
  12. EvevonParadis

    EvevonParadis Member

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    Hello Vitog,

    I have attempted turning the sod over in other areas of my garden, and this works only if I leave the sod to dry out and die--- these are areas that I turn into flower beds.

    I must say that I've never done much for the lawn parts of my garden... I have never re-seeded my lawn before!!! For the last 7 years, I have spent most of my efforts reducing the size of my lawn -- creating flower beds.

    I think, however, next Spring, I will turn my attention to the remainder of my lawn and do some re-seeding to crowd out them buttercups.

    :)
     

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