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I have a few questions… How do I beat red sorrel in my flower beds? I’ve pulled and pulled, gently getting the trailing roots and sifting them out, but it still comes back! I tried adding lime because I read they liked acid soil so I figured if I changed the ph. maybe that would work….. no luck. I tried mulching.. thickly… it still comes… At least with the mulch, it is easier to get out. It is makes me nuts! What can I do? It is now invading my husband’s strawberry beds too. Now we’re both going crazy in our red sorrel battle!My Gramps gave me a shoot from beneath Grandma’s white lilac. It bloomed this year for the first time but it is purple???? How did that happen!? Thank you!Katy

I have a few questions… How do I beat red sorrel in my flower beds? I’ve pulled and pulled, gently getting the trailing roots and sifting them out, but it still comes back! I tried adding lime because I read they liked acid soil so I figured if I changed the ph. maybe that would work….. no luck. I tried mulching.. thickly… it still comes… At least with the mulch, it is easier to get out. It is makes me nuts! What can I do? It is now invading my husband’s strawberry beds too. Now we’re both going crazy in our red sorrel battle!

Mulch with a barrier of cardboard or brown paper  underneath will smother weeds.  Lay cardboard on the ground covering the weeds and covet that with 3″ of bark mulch.  In flowerbeds you can cut up the brown leaf bags to fit around your plants to cover the soil and weeds and then cover the paper with 3″ of mulch.  These barriers last long enough to smother and kill the weeds but then decay adding organic matter to the soil.  HERE’S a blog post about using cardboard to create a bed.  That post was from 2011 and the bed I created is still weed free.   Make sure to over lap the cardboard several inches at least so the weed can’t find a way through.  There is no spray that you can use on the sorrel that won’t kill you garden plants as well.  There will always be some to pull that come up right near your plants but the paper and cardboard method can at least keep the areas in between weeds free.

My Gramps gave me a shoot from beneath Grandma’s white lilac. It bloomed this year for the first time but it is purple???? How did that happen!? 

The white lilac you took the shoot from was grafted.  The white flowering branches were grafted to a hardier purple root stock so any suckers coming from that root stock are going to be purple as well.

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