How to kill Oxalis

Johannes-Ulrich Urban via pbs
Tue, 13 Oct 2020 06:28:47 PDT
Hello again, Pamela,

Your question whether you should water the bed before covering it: yes. With water and cooler weather the bulbs will sprout and exhaust themselves in the dark. In dry soil they may remain dormant.

Your experience to find life Oxalis bulbs without growth is surprising for me and needs further questions.

Are you talking of winter growing bulbs you find at this time of the year?

When I repot my oxalis collection I notice that some do sprout very early in the paper bag I store them in before replanting. Some, but not all. If you dig up bulbs now, at the beginning of the growing season, you might find some still dormant but alive which will sprout later.

If you dig up Oxalis in full growth, it is very easy to break off the shoots. You are then left with a bulb with seemingly no growth, could this be?

It happened to me to have surplus bulbs nobody wanted sitting in a forgotten box. They had sprouted and then died down. The mother bulbs were dead, completely exhausted but in some cases they used the reserve from the old bulb to form a tiny new one.

That in mind I was apprehensive after covering the soil in my garden and having so many shoots under the plastic. But it worked. So far I am not aware of Oxalis skipping a season and remain dormant but alive. But you are right, many South African bulbs can do this and Tropaeolum are notorious for that. Are there other people out there who know this for Oxalis?

I regularly find healthy looking Oxalis bulbs  in the storage bags but on slightly pressing them between finger and thumb they crack like a nutshell and are dead.

Yet another very organic method to destroy any vegetation of a given place is to let chickens do the job. Of course this is not for everybody...... but a mobile chicken run is a guarantee to be left with a totally weed free space.

So..... my suggestion may not be perfect 


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