Advice needed regarding poison hemlock

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  jackie 3 weeks ago.

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    Frosty Bottom

    Help please!
    I have aquired a piece of land that I intend to grow vegetables using the no dig method, but the area has been neglected for many years, but i have discovered that a large part of it is covered with poison hemlock. will I be able to proceed with my plans and cover the ground with cardboard without taking any other measures? will the hemlock roots adversely affect any crops if their roots reach out beyond the cardboard and mulch?
    since identifting the problem last summer I have tried to keep the area under control with a brushcutter and the lawnmower whilst I worked in other areas of the garden, suffering a nasty burn to my leg at one point despite wearing protective clothing.
    My plan is to start on this section as soon as the weather allows me to get on it so any advice would be gratefully received.



    The NHS and RHS have helpful articles on poisonous plants – try a Google search for ‘hemlock poison’. The list of harmful plants on the RHS site ( is daunting and it’s a wonder any of us gardeners are still alive.

    I have no experience of hemlock itself and can’t comment on the time needed to kill it off completely. I can’t see that roots left in the soil would poison any other crops.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  John.

    Frosty Bottom

    Many thanks John,
    it’s a bit of a nightmare but Iam determined to turn the area into a productive piece of ground without using weedkillers and pesticides.



    I too have an area where I want to expand and it is full of hogweed or cow parsnip hard to tell the difference. As well some water hemlock does grow around here. The good news I learned is that goats are not hurt by eating these plants I was very surprised!

    I have been considering using pigs and goats first on the area and then move to mulching and composting.


    • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by  jackie.
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