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Reclaim your garden from Ground Elder with potatoes

Potatoes grow very well within gardens infested with ground elder

Potato relaxing within a patch of ground elder weeds

We're all about reclaiming disused garden space to grow vegetables to donate to food banks. And nothing says 'disused garden space' quite like ground elder. In the past, we've tried everything to get rid of it. You name it, we've tried it. But after a couple of years, it was clear that we'd have to try something new.

This season, we embark on a mission to conquer the relentless ground elder and turn the tide in our gardens. But fear not, for we bring you an unexpected ally in this battle: the mighty potato! Together, we shall uncover the secrets of growing potatoes alongside ground elder, transforming once-infested lands into flourishing potato patches. Let's dive in and reclaim our gardens!

Meet the foe: Ground Elder

Ah, the notorious ground elder, a weed with a knack for conquering gardens. Its relentless nature can leave even seasoned gardeners scratching their heads. But worry not! With the right approach, we can outsmart this persistent invader and make it play by our rules.

The Secret Weapon: Potatoes

Enter the potato, nature's mighty tuber. Aside from being a culinary superstar, potatoes possess a unique ability to outcompete weeds while offering a tasty reward. By harnessing their growth potential, we can establish a potato stronghold that overpowers the ground elder, reclaiming our once beleaguered land.

Choosing the Right Potato Varieties

To ensure success, select potato varieties that thrive in your region and soil type. Opt for early or mid-season varieties, as they tend to develop foliage quickly and smother weeds effectively. Check with your local garden centre or trusted online sources to find the perfect potato companions for your ground elder battle.

Preparing the Battlefield

Begin by preparing the soil in the infested area. Remove as much ground elder as possible manually, being careful to extract the roots. Although it might seem daunting, this upfront effort is crucial to gain the upper hand.

Planting the Potatoes

Once the ground elder has been put on notice, it's time to plant your potatoes. Dig planting trenches or mounds, spaced appropriately for your chosen potato variety. Ensure the soil is fertile and well-drained. Now, place your precious spuds into the soil and cover them up, leaving their journey to your green thumbs.

Shielding the Potatoes

To safeguard your growing potatoes, provide additional protection against ground elder resurgence. Mulching around the plants with organic materials, such as straw or grass clippings, acts as a natural barrier, limiting ground elder's access to sunlight and suppressing its growth.

Vigilance and Harvesting Rewards

As your potato plants grow and flourish, keep an eye out for any ground elder resurgence. Continuously weed and remove any invaders to prevent their encroachment. The battle might require occasional reinforcements, but remember, the spoils of victory will be worth it!


By employing the incredible might of potatoes alongside our determination, we have discovered a clever strategy to reclaim our gardens from the clutches of ground elder. So, fellow gardeners, put on your gardening gloves, sharpen your spades, and embark on this exciting journey. Together, we can transform a once-intractable problem into a flourishing potato paradise. Let the battle for garden supremacy begin! Happy gardening and happy potato harvesting!


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