Tackling this weed using non-chemical approaches can be difficult and time-consuming as all runners and the main taproot need removing to eradicate it completely. Sturdy dandelion weeding forks can prove more effective at removing the deep taproots than hand-pulling. Stems and runners of this weed should not be added to home compost bins.
Moist, fertile soil is less favourable to this weed, especially in lawns, so regular feeding and watering may help to discourage it.
Although fairly resistant to lawn weedkillers, two or three applications of those containing mecoprop-P applied at 4-6 week intervals during the spring and early summer will usually provide control. It may be necessary to spray again the following spring.
Non-selective, systemic weedkillers containing glyphosate can be used where this weed grows amongst cultivated beds and borders. They are most effective if used during midsummer, when weed growth is most vigorous.
As glyphosate is non-selective in its mode of action, it is essential to avoid spray or spray drift coming into contact with garden plants. If treating weeds in the vicinity of garden plants, apply carefully using a ready-to-use spray formulation in cool, calm weather. Protect branches and shoots by tying them aside, or by using covers or screens. Make sure weed foliage has dried before releasing branches or removing coverings.
In paths and drives
Bayer Garden Path & Drive Weedkiller and Scotts Weedol Pathclear products containing glyphosate/diflufenican and can be applied once a season to natural surfaces where no plants are to be grown, and can also be applied under and around established woody trees and shrubs. This product kills off existing small green growth and prevents or checks developing growth. Check manufacturer’s recommendations before use to avoid damaging sensitive plants.
Inclusion of a weedkiller product does not indicate a recommendation or endorsement by the RHS. It is a list of products currently available to the home gardener.
Weedkillers for gardeners (Adobe Acrobat pdf document outlining weedkillers available to gardeners; see sections 1, 4 and 5).
Chemicals: using spot and broad-scale weedkillers
Chemicals: using a sprayer
Chemicals: using safely and effectively
Weeds: non-chemical control