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Green Solutions for Oxalis

Question:

How do I get rid of Oxalis - the green way?

Hardiness Zone: 6a

Liz from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Answer:

Liz,

Fortunately, oxalis (also known as common woodsorrel) is not that difficult to eliminate. I applaud your search for a "green" solution. All too often gardeners look for the quick fix. Using homemade weed killers, like vinegar or salt, are certainly more benign than their synthetic counterparts, but they still change the soil's chemistry in a significant way. They also kill beneficial microorganisms and insects, without which, ironically, the chances for weed, pest and disease problems are greatly increased. Hoeing and hand pulling are probably the most effective methods of control, but if I were you, I would try a combination of strategies just to see what works best.

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Oxalis is commonly found in stony or rocky areas and in soils with a more acidic pH. It reproduces by seeds (which are thrown long distances by the pod) and also sometimes from nodes (bulblets) on the stem. Digging out oxalis is certainly the most labor intensive method of control (you'll have to dig down at least 6 inches), but it's also the greenest method and it will leave your soil healthiest in the long run. You might also try singeing some of the plants with a small propane torch and whacking a few of the plants down to ground level, which will eventually weaken the bulbs. Finally, if you have large areas inhabited by oxalis, you might find covering the areas with black plastic or thick layers of newspaper or mulch works well. The keys to green weed control are cultivation and mulching.

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Good Luck!
Ellen

About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

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August 4, 20060 found this helpful

you could always send me some. msbutterfly770@yahoo

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August 7, 20060 found this helpful

What is Oxalis? Is it a plant? What does it look like??

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August 7, 20060 found this helpful

Here's a picture. What we have here is kind or reddish but the same cloverleaf type shape.

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