creeping buttercup

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by laurendw, Apr 28, 2003.

  1. laurendw

    laurendw Member

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    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    What's the best way to get rid of creeping buttercup in a moss lawn? All the advice I've read refers to a grass lawn (let the grass grow, etc) which doesn't apply. We have a moss lawn mostly because we like the look of it, and partly because it's easy in Vancouver. We've tried digging the creeping buttercup out by hand but it has more time to grow than I have to weed and it's winning.

    I've read about mecoprop and MCPA, which seem like they would work, but they seem to be rather noxious. Is there another way, or are mecoprop and MCPA the best alternative?


  2. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Well-Known Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

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    Vancouver, Canada
    Ranunculus repens (creeping buttercup) is a pernicious weed -- or a pretty, yellow-flowered groundcover, able to survive in compacted, wet soils where few other plants will thrive. Because it is strongly stoloniferous (stolons are horizontal, above ground stems, capable of producing roots at each node), it spreads easily. Plants are also strongly tap-rooted, and because its roots are extremely strong, plants are anchored exceptionally well. Ranunculus repens favours rich, moist soil in sun. If conditions are such, it will be very difficult to dislodge plants without resorting to serious means.

    Improving the drainage, increasing shade and diminishing fertility will all help to subdue the rampant growth of R. repens. Other than introducing trees to shade the area, an effective approach is to regularly core-aerate the area and top-dress with coarse sand. Over time, the added sand will raise the soil level, make pulling the buttercup easier, and will have the added benefit of encouraging moss growth.

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