Getting Rid Of Plantain

yellow flower weed

Q: I have plantain that has just about taken over my backyard this summer. What can I do to get rid of it? 

A: Broadleaf and buckhorn plantain are commonly found growing in compacted soil. Their fibrous root system allows them to grow where more desirable plants can’t thrive. Digging individual plants won’t work because you’ll always leave behind a few root pieces which will sprout into new weeds. Spraying with weed killer is not a cure, it just delays the inevitable. If you don’t fix the compacted soil, these or similar weeds will return. Relieving compaction is straightforward: you have to dig up the dirt. Early winter is a great time to do this because there are usually a few warm afternoons that make working outdoors more pleasant. Once the earth is disturbed, protect it by planting things you like or by spreading mulch over the area.

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