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How can I kill rushes without killing wildflowers


 
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gg66
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Joined: 18 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:45 pm    Post subject: How can I kill rushes without killing wildflowers Reply with quote

Hi,

I have about half an acre of a back garden that was seeded with wildflowers about two years ago. This summer it looked great but I have a problem with rushes.

I pulled about 6 wheelbarrows of small rushes by hand earlier in the year but they're back.

I know there are products to kill rushes but I'm also aware that a lot of wildflowers would be considered weeds by farmers..

Is there any product that will kill only rushes and leave the wildflowers in peace ...?
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rushes are very much lovers of poor drained soil and even if you got a weedkiller and sprayed them they would be back again the following year. First of all improve the drainage, pipes or stone drains from highest to lowest point. Test the water level by digging a hole 30cms deep and see how high is the wate. if there is no water accumulating there then it is the soil is the problem. The soil has physical structure problems and this can be improved by adding either compost or snad/gravel.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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gg66
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michael,

I've no doubt the soil is poor. In fact is is subsoil which is supposed to be ideal for growing wildflowers due to its lack of fertility. Adding compost or any other fertilizer would encourage growth to compete with the wildflowers ..

It's actually quite stoney and doesn't hold much surface water.
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sub soil is not ideal for growing wild flowers, but is ideal fro certain plants that have adapted to poor conditions including rushes. Wildflowers have a minimum standard both in soil fertility and in physical condition.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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gg66
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, and the wildflowers were selected based on the soil type & they're doing very well. A full meadow of them this summer..

I just need to get rid of the rushes without killing off or taking away from the wildflower meadow. The advice I've got so far is that if I fertilise the soil, it will encourage grass and other growth that competes with them.

I'll do as you suggest and dig a hole to see how much water there is.
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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
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Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:54 am    Post subject: Re: How can I kill rushes without killing wildflowers Reply with quote

Most of the chemical products for killing rushes would knock out your wildflowers as well.
One option is to spot spray the rushes rather than a widespread spraying.
I presume that many of the wild flowers would be annuals anyway, coming back from seed each year, so once seed is ripened and dropped you should be ok.

Improving drainage and or digging out the rushes is the most effective method though, albeit labour intensive.
Pulling the rushes is of no use.
We have dealt with this rush or reed subject on these forums a few times, have a look......
Eradicating rushes and Eradicating Reeds

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