Aegopodium podagraria or ground elder, bishop's weed, goutweed, ...
It is an edible, some even say medicinal plant. It is a weed that easily gets out of control and outcompetes many plants, effectively creating a monoculture desert for itself. It doesn't seem to have any pests or diseases which control its abundance. It doesn't seem to have another plant that can outcompete it. It grows from full shade to full sun.
There is one area of our garden which effectively has become a complete carpet with nothing else growing. I would like to convert this area into beds, without needing to take away the top 20 cm of soil, or needing to resort to poison (which by the looks is useless as it is said to be resistant to virtually all the most nasty herbicides out there).
I was thinking of putting up a raised bed in a solid wood frame 20 cm high, but some people say the roots will grow the 20 cm to the surface.
I was thinking hugels to raise higher then 20 cm, but they would spread from the sides and feast on the goodies in the soil I provide.
I was thinking cardboard/newspaper mulch layer to smother them, but roots allegedly grow through in no time.
I was thinking an over time bio degradable anti-rooting membrane, but people say this weed manages to grow through straight away.
I was thinking solid pond quality plastic smothering, but I loose the use of the land (I wouldn't like to have plastic permanently under a bed, better grow in pots).
I was thinking temporarily covering the ground with pond plastic, but people say the roots remain alive in the soil for more then a year while nature decomposes all the organic material under the plastic.
What is my best strategy to convert this green monoculture desert area to diversity? My ultimate aim is to end up, eventually, with some wood frame beds in this area.
In areas where I fail to remove heavy leaf litter, I've seen voles move in and eliminate entire patches over the winter/early spring. Other than that, I'd say eat and enjoy. Consider it a bounty. The tender young leaves are good in salads, the older ones can be cooked like spinach or added to soups. I have heard of it being harvested into oblivion by those who develop a taste for it. There's a permies thread on goutweed here:
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