[align=left]I recently moved into a house that has very little landscaping and what it does have I'm not crazy about.* I tried to dig up a bleeding heart that was*out of control*but the root system is really extensive!* I don't know how to get it all out.* What should I do? [/align]
Why is the dicentra spectabilis hard to dig out? Are there other roots/sod in the way, or is it in heavy clay soil?
It can resprout from root sections that remain, as I guess is the reason you are trying to eradicate it all.
Since you aren't keen on the other landscaping as it is,* you could till the soil and the grass and the remaining roots, then cover with black plastic or several layers of newspaper wetted down. Either treatment will kill whatever is growing in there, and kill off bugs as well. You would have to leave it for a few months, maybe just a few weeks if you get hot sun on it every day.
If that's too unsightly for you, you can spread a mulch over it and put potted plants on top until the bleeding heart roots are dead and rotting.
What I would consider a last resort would be to paint each piece that resprouts with a weed control agent like weed-be-gone or similar. If you've unearthed a root node but can't quite capture it to pull it out, paint that with weed control, too. Usually they are systemic and will kill the roots which makes the top die off from lack of water. They will work on the root even when there's no foliage, I think.
Hi Four Thieves,
Congratulations on your new home!* You will have to dig wider.* Take a look at the pics in this discussion.
[align=left]The problem isn't in the soil.* I've dug a great hole in my flower bed trying get out all of the roots but they just keep going and going.* And they are so big, wider than my thumb.* I think I'll have to try one of your suggestions.* Thanks for the tips![/align]