More thoughts on getting rid of Yellow Sorrel (Oxalis Corniculata)

Yellow Sorrel (Oxalis Corniculata) by nickpix2009
Yellow Sorrel (Oxalis Corniculata) by nickpix2009

TheGardenLady received this comment on her post “Eradicating Oxalis Corniculata“.

This article does not do justice to the invasive and aggressive nature of Oxalis. If you try this what is described above you will FAIL (guaranteed).

If Oxalis has become such an invasive problem in your area of the country, you should call your county extension office to see what they recommend. Unfortunately there are weeds that are becoming extremely, agressively invasive and are becoming more and more difficult to eradicate safely or easily.

TheGardenLady always recommends the least toxic method of removal of both weeds and insect pests. Her parents were organic gardeners before, I think, the word even became popularized. We pulled all the weeds by hand and picked all the bugs off the plants by hand. I cannot recount the number of Colorado potato beetles I picked off the potato plants as a child or how many of the undersides of leaves I checked looking for the orange-yellow eggs to remove. Of course, potatoes were not our cash crop so it was doable.

My husband, who was a trained chemist, believed in organic methods of gardening. He knew how toxic some of those chemicals could be.

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Eradicating Oxalis Corniculata

Oxalis corniculata by (on flickr)
Oxalis corniculata by (on flickr)

TheGardenLady received this question from Gay.

What do you recommend to eradicate Oxalis in coastal climate (SF Bay area)? This is not the ornamental type, it is invasive with a succulent flower stem and yellow blossom.

Oxalis – Oxalis corniculata L. , yellow wood sorrel is an invasive plant in California.

This GardenLady always tries to first recommend the safest method of  weed removal, which is hand pulling. If you aren’t overwhelmed with too many Oxalis on your property always try hand pulling first. Now the problem with oxalis is that it has a long tap root. Besides these tap roots it also sends out stolons. A stolon is a shoot that bends to the ground or that grows horizontally above the ground and produces roots and shoots at the nodes. And it has rhizomes. A rhizome is a horizontal, usually underground stem that often sends out roots and shoots from its nodes. Plus Oxalis makes seeds. How is that for insuring species survival? So to eradicate the oxalis with all its alternative methods of growing into another plant, one has to get rid of all of its roots, stolons and rhizomes before it sets seed. That is very difficult to do. But one can try. If your soil is not rocky you can use a manual asparagus picker to get to the bottom of the tape root.  I hope you can still purchase these manual asparagus pickers. They have a handle and sort of look like a long screw driver with a V at the end which is what you use to cut. However,TheGardenLady does not know where to buy them. Mine is an antique from my parents’ farm.

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