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Is there an easier way to get rid of an overly aggressive plant that takes over the garden besides digging it out? My small garden has been overrun with my Lemon Balm and Garlic chives. I think the Lemon balm is of the mint family and I know how mint can take over a garden. While they are both wonderful additions to my garden, I do not have the strength or stamina to keep digging them up. Any ideas? :)

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2 answers

  1. The good news is that you do have many options, though the number of options may be more limited depending on how rampant these two herbs have become. If their growth is expanding yet still within bounds of the original plant you might try smothering them out with black plastic left in place for a year, or put down clear plastic that heats the soils and cooks them till their way past done. Pouring boiling water over the patch will also do them in.

    However if their growth has scattered out far beyond the plant to where they are mixing in with your favored plants, then it's time for spot applications of a non-toxic weed killer. These ready-to-use products control weeds in various ways; herbicidal soaps combine fatty acids and salts; more potent vinegar-based products such as Burnout have a higher concentration of acetic acid (20 percent as opposed to household vinegar, which is 5 percent); and some products use essential oils, such as clove oil (eugenol), cinnamon oil, or citrus oil (d-limonene). Avenger is a weed killer that uses d-limonene, and Weed Zap uses a combination of clove oil and cinnamon oil. Products such as these are available at online garden supply retailers and at various garden centers or home improvement stores. These products are non-selective, which means they kill by contact on any plant on which they are sprayed. But then you can always take an even more aggressive approach and make garlic chive pesto with lots of lemon balm sun tea!

    1. In response to Kris_Wetherbee

      WOW! Great ideas and great products. Thanks! I should be happy the garlic chives are doing so well, but I prefer to separate the chives and garlic for more control cooking tastes. I rub the lemon balm on my skin to deter mosquitoes and it smells so wonderful! I'm going to try it it tea.

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