What is the best way to kill soursob in the lawn and garden beds with out spraying glyphosate. I have managed to stop them in my back garden by pulling them out by hand but the front garden is a nightmare at the moment. Any advice that will save my back would be greatly appreciated.
I read somewhere recently that an effective method is weeding them just before they flower, which gets them at their most vulnerable, & upsets their life cycle.
We were inundated with Soursobs in our yard, so I dilligently eased them out (rather than snapping them at ground level) over a few years, & they rarely come up at all now.
I hand weeded our lawns too, so they aren't a problem either, but apparently mowing them only impedes their growth, & doesn't eradicate them.
It's very difficult to kill Soursob because of its bulbs. Digging them out is the most effective method but obviously very difficult and time consuming. You have to lift out the entire plant and bulbs and be very gentle so that you don't leave anything behind which will just sprout again. I have also read another suggestion for your lawn areas - not let them grow to flowering stage and then mow them off, trying to get as little of the lawn as possible, repeating it once a week. This attacks the weed at its weakest stage. Hopefully then as your lawn roots establish, they will suffocate the soursobs, resulting in them dying.
Yes, make sure you get the bulbs - they are usually 4-6cm below the surface. The worst thing you can do is to cultivate the area as this spreads the bulbs around. If you do spray with weed killer the timing is important - just before they are about to flower. You could try boiling water but you will damage other nearby plants and kill the poor little worms. I've also seen people suggesting putting down a thick layer of newspaper followed by garden mulch but I think this would only work after pulling most of them out by hand.
Silly me, I forgot to mention that I use a weeder:
to lift the area around & under the bulb, then delicately ease out the intact bulb.
My timing's never been all that precise, I just wait until they're large enough to remove easily, but way before flowering.
That newspaper & mulch thing will work even if the area's not been weeded before, but it'll take a year, & everything else is suffocated along with it, so it's hardly a garden maintenance way of doing it. ; )
Yes, it can be tough work on the back @geejaybee. I'd recommend methodically and persistently doing small areas - one step at a time.
Here's an image of the weed in case others aren't aware of how to identify it.
This came to my Inbox, courtesy of a Jon Lamb newsletter, & may be helpful: