Over-run by Lily of the Valley

zaphod42May 16, 2008

I have Lily of the Valley along the North side of my house. It is moving into my neighbor's yard and into my beds. What should I do to stop the progression? We're planning to edge the bed with stone but, is that enough? Also, we're pretty 'green' and would prefer not to use chemicals or plastics, if possible.

Thanks.

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zaphod42

Also want to plant some phlox but have been told that gets pretty invasive also. Any hints for that as well?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 3:54PM
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luvtosharedivs

I would dig out as much of the Lily of the Valley as you can, and give it away. Maybe someone would love to have the plants as a ground cover in shade where no grass will grow.

Phlox needs a sunny site in order to bloom - I'd say at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. Deadhead to prevent unwanted seedlings. If extra "invasive" seedlings pop up, they're easy to pull out.

Julie

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 7:31PM
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led_zep_rules(5 WI)

Post on your local freecycle that people can come and dig up lily of the valley. Just supervise to be sure they dig where you want them to. You can get rid of a large amount that way for sure.

Me, I have 5 acres and I let the lily of the valley go wherever it wants, and I transplanted some into my ditch a few years ago.

Zaphod42, I think the real answer to "life, the universe, and everything" is gardening. :-)

Marcia

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 1:01AM
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enya_34(z5 WI)

Without edging you won't stop it as it grows by underground runners. I don't think you need to have too deep of a barrier though.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 5:16PM
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duluthinbloomz4

I love LOV and fortunately have it in a spot where it can spread as it wants. If you are going to start digging it up - start at the leading edges rather than trying to start from somewhere in the middle. The newer plants on the edges aren't so entrenched, and once you get a toehold in with a sharp shovel you can pry up big chunks.

If they're starting to encroach on your other perennials, etc., you will probably have to lift the perennials while you're dealing with the LOV.

According toThe Practical Gardener, any physical barrier should be 10-12" deep to be on the safe side. It'll get past any arrangement of stones set on the soil surface.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 10:20AM
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Rachel_WI_5(z5WI)

Hi, At our local newspaper, the sell aluminum press plates for just a small amount and they are the size of a sheet of newspaper. I've gotten some of them, folded them in half and dug them in where I want invasive plants to stop and it works well. You can contain any plant that has underground runners that way. The only other way would be to periodically use a sharp spade and turn over a 6 inch border to keep the runners from "running". Raspberries do the same thing, and you keep your rows where you want them by continually turning over the soil and not letting the roots get a chance to run and send up new shoots. The varigated Bishop's Weed does the same thing. Once you have it it just keeps going unless you put down a 12 inch barrier. Good luck with your gardening.
Rachel

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 11:33PM
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