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What have I done?

I've done something terribly, terribly wrong - but I didn't know it at the time.

I cleaned out the area to the right of the bottom of our driveway.  There's been some scrub weeds growing there, and they bloom, but I don't find them attractive.  So this spring I pulled them out and replanted that area.  I sent what I pulled out and raked out and raked up, etc. back to the compost pile.

The stuff I pulled out resprouted.  Vigorously.

I sprayed it with Roundup.  It declined to die.  A seed of worry began to germinate in the back of my brain.

I sprayed it again two weeks later.  It's ailing, but not dead.  This afternoon I decided to try to look it up.  Japanese knotweed.  Listed by the World Conservation Union as one of the world's 100 worst invasive species.  And *I* sent all the crap I dug up back to the compost pile on another part of the property.  Which means that I've established it back there.  And that pile is HUGE at this point.  Looks like l need to start monitoring it.

Perhaps you should all buy stock in RoundUp.  I think that I'm going to be going through a lot of it.




( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 19th, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC)
You could allow BP to drill in your compost heap. That should kill just about anything.

Side note: we're starting to get a lot of Purple Loosestrife popping up. Not as nasty as Japanese Knotwood, but still undesirable.
Jul. 19th, 2010 08:20 pm (UTC)
Yeah, except I *want* the sugar maples. I intend to tap them in the spring.

My understanding is that you actually CAN defeat Purple Loosestrife with mechanical removal, although it requires persistance. The Japanese Knotweed is more... vigorous. And I introduced it into its favorite environment. I have apparently just become the horrible warning...
Jul. 19th, 2010 07:00 pm (UTC)
You could plant kudzu to overrun it.

What? I'm trying to be helpful here...

In all seriousness, when you find a good source of an Agent Orange knockoff, let me know. I seem to have RoundupReady(tm) bindweed and poison ivy in my yard. When I jokingly threatened to plant kudzu to overrun them, my neighbour said I'd be better off with the bindweed, because at least I can outrun it.

Jul. 19th, 2010 08:21 pm (UTC)
Hugh - you're brilliant. I need to talk to my father...
Jul. 19th, 2010 08:19 pm (UTC)
Yikes. That sounds nasty. Maybe in conjunction with the Roundup, you can lay a sheet of Weed Stop over it; plastic sheeting with small holes for drainage...NOTHING can grow through it. Dump some mulch atop that & some planters/pots with something cute & bright & annual in 'em. Problem solved and you've created a little woodland garden at the same time, & the mulch + pots will make it REALLY easy to see if anything comes up again.
Jul. 19th, 2010 08:22 pm (UTC)
The problem is that apparently if you cover it like that, it just goes dormant - and it can stay dormant for twenty years, until the situation is favorable again. I try to take it easy with the herbicides, but I think this is going to be poison early, poison often...

Jul. 19th, 2010 09:21 pm (UTC)
Fuck Roundup. It's toxic to the environment and encourages weeds to develop resistance.

Buy a weed burner. If neccessary, dig the shit out, douse the hole with kerosene, and drop in a match.

Like a MidRealm Laurel, knotweed should die by fire.
Jul. 19th, 2010 10:28 pm (UTC)
Okay, I think that I'm really glad when I went for a French name that I didn't pick Joan!! Remind me to never get you mad at me. :-)

That may be the same crap that I'm perpetually yanking out of my azaleas. I HATE the stuff.
Jul. 20th, 2010 12:52 am (UTC)
Well, I can't dig the stuff out in the front - it's been there for God knows how long, and from what I read the rhizomes can go down something like four yards. At that point I may as well try to dig out the full grown birch tree that it's growing around.

If I can find WHERE it landed in the pile out back, we can dig that out and torch it. But it's going to have to come up first - I'll go look tomorrow.

What a mess.
Jul. 20th, 2010 01:18 am (UTC)
Don't forget...if you have any of that stuff going down four metres, you'd already have a FOREST of the stuff growing, not just sprouts. If all you've got are sprouts, it's not established and should still be quite 'diggable'.
Jul. 20th, 2010 01:59 am (UTC)
Well, the rhizomes out front were huge - I just didn't know why, or what I was getting into. But that's a very good point. The stuff out back (once I can *find* it) should be extremely diggable.
Jul. 20th, 2010 12:17 am (UTC)
Bishop's Weed: Part 3
(Bishop's Weed Part 2 is my yard.)

Yeegads, Eloise - wikipedia says the Brits have to send it to a licensed landfill for proper disposal!

That said, if you haven't found the page give it a read -- they recommend late-summer/fall for herbicides. I've heard those recommendations before--you want to spray it when the plants are sucking nutrients back down from the leaves to store for winter, and for seeds.

If all else fails, you can eat it if you haven't herbicided it yet. (And if you're allowed rhubarb that is.)
Jul. 20th, 2010 12:46 am (UTC)
Re: Bishop's Weed: Part 3
I know, I know. I've read all the pages...

The stuff in the front pisses me off, but it was already there. It's the stuff that I introduced in back that I'm in agony over. I threw some big rhizomes in there without knowing...
Jul. 20th, 2010 12:27 am (UTC)
You threw a virulent weed into your compost?

This is a deeZAHster. (Hmm, just realized that that's a family in-joke...no one else will 'get' it, heh.) Weeds LOVE compost. (Well, almost all growing things love compost, but weeds are like 500lb lovers of chocolate...throw THEM into a chocolate store and the thing is gonna be totally decimated.)

Kill it, kill it! With extreme prejudice!
Jul. 20th, 2010 12:44 am (UTC)
I KNOOOOOW!!!!! But I DIDN'T know when I did it!!!!

I can't kill it, because I don't know where it is - we've been doing so much cleaning and clearing that the damn pile is huge. I think all I can do at this point is watch for it and try to eradicate however I can. If I can locate the area where it landed (when it comes up, sadly,) I think I'm going to have to dig out the entire vicinity and burn everything. That seems to be the only thing that takes this stuff out - it's a rhizome, and a piece the size of a fingernail will sprout.

I'm going to have to get out there tomorrow while there's light and look for sprouts. I can't let it get an entire growing season under it.

After how hard we've worked, I just can't believe this...
Jul. 20th, 2010 01:08 am (UTC)
Has it spread beyond the compost heap? If not, I'd definitely recommend shoveling up the whole heap and burning it to ash...

Good excuse for a bonfire. Have a party. :) (Though I'd imagine you're not in the mood for a party...but you will be if you get it all and get to watch it BURN like the demon it is.)

Maybe you can have a burning party. Get everyone you know to come over and dig dig dig and heap everything into the bonfire and then have a hot-dog and/or corn roast with s'mores for dessert.
Jul. 20th, 2010 02:02 am (UTC)
No, it can't have - it's only been in there a couple of months. The thing is too big to burn (we've been clearing the yard, remember, and all the leaves...) but I'm more than willing to pull and burn the correct quadrant.
Jul. 20th, 2010 01:28 am (UTC)
Btw, you're using Round Up...but are you using the concentrated form? Most of what you buy would be the diluted form...you can (in the US, it's been outlawed here...we're not allowed to use herbicide any more) buy the concentrate. Paint THAT stuff onto the cut or torn stems. Much more potent. Kills sumac.
Jul. 20th, 2010 02:04 am (UTC)
No, I haven't been - I grabbed it to kill the poison ivy, so I thought I only needed a little bit. I just picked up a bottle of concentrate - I'll cut the stems and paint them.

I didn't think *anything* kills sumac.
Jul. 20th, 2010 02:08 am (UTC)
Round-Up concentrate does. It's strong enough to spread through the system. The diluted stuff won't go far in a strong weed...it'll just make it sick rather than killing it. Or kill just the immediate portion that was sprayed, perhaps. Just make your evil plants drink up that concentrate and portions at least should be dropping dead. (I haven't dealt with Japanese Knotweed specifically, though we actually sell a variegated form of it here, apparently...different zones can cause things not to be hospitable enough to the plant for it to become invasive, and other forms tend not to be nearly as vigorous, so...) It DID rid my sister's yard completely of a well-established swath of sumac. :)
Jul. 20th, 2010 02:13 am (UTC)
Jul. 20th, 2010 12:32 pm (UTC)
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )