Gardening Dopers: The Sleepydick Chronicles Part 2, The Heavy Artillery

Paging eleanorigby!

Some of you know that I have been waging war with sleepydick (AKA Star of Bethlehem, but sleepydick is just a much funnier name) in my nascent native plant garden. Pulling clumps didn’t help. RoundUp didn’t help.

Now I’m considering my options. I got out last night with a flamethrower (ya rly) and burned down a patch of it, per eleanorigby’s suggestion. So, how did your flamethrower work? Did it kill the roots?

I also tried napalm. Well, not napalm per se, but I bombed an entire patch of the stuff with boiling water, hoping that it would stay hot long enough to severely damage the underground bulbs.

Has anyone tried this for bulb control? I know boiling water will kill whatever emergent plant material it touches, but how about those nasty, evil, insidious bulbs? If this doesn’t work, I’m considering loosening up the soil with a spade first, then applying boiling water, so I can guarantee a larger degree of percolation.

I’m also trying a Fallujah-style Surge, where I’m weed-wacking the tops of the plants in order to defeat the waxy leaf coating and open up the vascular system, then applying concentrated RoundUp.

Finally, I may have to resort to the Nuclear Option: farmers have reported up to 80% control of sleepydick through repeated applications of paraquat. Trouble is, this is the Last Resort. This stuff will essentially sterilize my garden. It will kill ANYTHING it comes in contact with.

Right now, I’m hoping the boiling water will do the trick. Any experience with this method?

Boiling water exponent here.
Have used it to get rid of onion weed successfully. Loosening the ground first helps (I used a hoe because it was easier than the shovel) I used boiling water by the bucket (stays hotter had better penetration in bulk) I bought a big insulated drinks dispenser and used that to keep the water hot. I had to be persistent(weekly applications for a month or so) then I went thermonuclear and salted the ground (well not actually salted - I vinegared. Anything that showed signs of life or not got a good vinegar soaking. I left things for another month then reversed the vinegar with lime - I used a pH test kit to get things correct). A good first plant to have in the vinegared/limed areas are strawberries. They like acid conditions and if you haven’t quite got things back to normal they will cope.
Good luck. Hopefully you will not have to use that nasty paraquat stuff


Boiling water sounds like a good step, especially right now, when the Sleepydicks are waking up and using all their bulb stores to bloom. No bloom, no seeds: no leaves, and the bulb food stores get used up.

Good luck!

Kodiak has become infested with orange hawkweed, which is invasive and is crowding out native plants. It grows by a spreading root network and blowing seeds like dandelions. We (townspeople) are fighting this with the method that madrabbitwoman suggests, and it’s been a few years, but I have noticed a difference. I have a patch of it at the edge of my yard, and every year it gets smaller. I have been working on my patch for three years, and I hope to have it out of my yard by the end of this season.

Good luck.

Two parts frozen orange juice concentrate plus one part gasoline makes jellied gasoline.
Just saying.

Agent Orangejuice?:wink:

I don’t know from sleepydick, but does anyone have tips for eradicating creeping charlie? (It’s an ivy, in the mint family. Yeah, I know.)

I haven’t tried much - RoundUp and pulling, occasionally a root treater made especially for ivy - but I’d like to get rid of it. Tips are greatly appreciated.