Suggestions I’ve gotten for dealing with creeping bellflower: pesticide, digging and cursing, flamethrower followed by nuclear blast, vinegar. I don’t want to use pesticides because the invader is in part of my food garden and because I am committed to being a mostly organic gardener for several reasons that are very important to me. I’ve mostly used digging and cursing so far. My aunt recently suggested vinegar which reminded me that last year I had tried a DIY vinegar-salt-soap spray with poor results. However, I didn’t try a combination of digging and vinegar, so that’s what’s next.
Our excellent UW Extension has a publication on creeping bellflower, A3924-05, if you also have this unwelcome plant. Interestingly, their information shows non-chemical removal is more effective than pesticides. Doesn’t look like they studied the effectiveness of cursing, though. I need to slow these plants down before they go to seed as each seed capsule has 50-150 seeds.
The heart-breaking part? To really get at the creeping bellflower, I need to take apart the raised beds I made last year out of assorted bricks and concrete blocks. They were never going to win a garden beauty award, but to me they were lovely. Made out of materials on hand, sized and placed to my own design, and frugal too.
Last night, I made a new raised bed away from my current garden, scraping the dirt and (I hope) any plant root pieces off before moving each concrete block. After putting in fresh soil, I will transplant my walking onions there, carefully separating them from the bellflower roots. If that goes well, I may relocate other food and flower plants before I bring on the vinegar. Pictures next time.