What is Taking Over my Backyard?

Asked June 24, 2020, 5:45 PM EDT

I saw a little of this last year next to my flower beds. This year it seriously is four feet deep into my yard. It has bunches and bunches of tangled roots. I found that starting at one end and using both hands grabbing the very bottom of them and pulling up and rolling them back I could get a good momentum. I would do that twice and scooch over and do the same on down the line. I actually could only do it up and back once. There has to be a better way. What is this and please how do I get rid of it. I’m don’t have a green thumb at all do specific instructions would help. I would so appreciate any information and help you could give me. Thank you. Dawna

Lane County Oregon

1 Response

The good thing about Vinca minor, or periwinkle, is that it’s a great groundcover, growing quickly to fill in problem areas. These plants even thrive in shady spots with lousy soil, and serve well for erosion control. The bad part is that periwinkles spread beyond their intended boundaries. Vinca quickly rages out of control. Gardeners are typically instructed to destroy the noxious weed by killing the roots with potent herbicides. If this doesn’t appeal to you, try the old-fashioned approach: time, effort, patience and persistence. Cut large empty cardboard boxes down into sheets. Cover the Vinca-infested area with cardboard, overlapping the ends of the sheets. If possible, extend the cardboard several feet beyond the perimeter of the affected area to completely deprive the weeds of light. Soak the cardboard with the garden hose. Pile 6 to 8 inches of wood chips on top of the cardboard and walk on it to pack it tightly. Drench it thoroughly with water. This barrier will reduce the weed’s vigor and inhibit growth as it struggles to reach the light. Pull stray runners that attempt to emerge from beneath the barrier. Keep it packed and heavy with water at all times. If you decide to use an herbicide, be sure to follow all directions exactly, and realize that most herbicides are not fussy about what they kill off. Even using them, does not mean that the periwinkle will not return if not vigilantly policed and pulled.