Battling black swallow-wort

Garden and greenhouse enthusiasts have been warned to look out for black swallow-wort.

The weed can wreak havoc with plants and can take over entire green spaces, an article in the Examiner warned.

It said the problem is particularly prevalent in the Boston area and is identified by its dark, oval-shaped leaves and deep-blue, five-petalled flowers.

The author somewhat dramatically states the damage is already done by the time it blooms.

"The weed is celebrating its victory over order, justice, and the American way," wrote Neil Fairbairn.

He suggests gardeners have a choice between using herbicides to combat the plants root system or resort to old fashioned digging on a regular basis to help deal with the problem.

Those who choose the latter method may find they have a lot of work in store, as the weed spreads hundreds of seeds through the air and uses its rhizomes to help it grow, even when weeded out by keen horticulturalists.

Meanwhile, Popular Mechanics has published some hints and tips on how to fight the problem of lawn disease.