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THE WORLD IS ENDING (maybe not...)

It *might* not be a TOTAL disaster - just a Very Big Problem.  I spent a ton of time online last night (instead of doing laundry,) and it appears that we may have dwarf knotweed instead of full-bore Japanese Knotweed.  It's still horrifically invasive, but not to the "mutant killer weed from Mars" extent of it's big cousin.  Time and weather permitting, I'll go back and inspect the enormous mound of detritus and see if I can see any sprouts.  If so, this weekend I'll plan to dig out that area with extreme prejudice and figure out how to burn what I've dug.  I'm not really sure how I can do that without setting either the house or the woods on fire.  We don't have much clear land.  Minimally, I'll tarp/bag it in the sun while I figure it out. 

I've found a bunch of websites from the UK and the US detailing various control strategies - organic, chemical, and large scale.  I should be able to take enough information from those to deal with this.

Here's the really awful part - I think this stuff was planted intentionally!  There are a few varieties of polygonum that are non-invasive, but this one is downright thuggish, and it's still sold as groundcover.  People are stupid.

Now I'm afraid to dispose of *anything* I have to dig up...


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 20th, 2010 12:52 pm (UTC)
A lot of invasive plants have tame relatives, and often you have to really know what you're doing to avoid mixing them up. If someone before you did the mixing, you've inherited their mess.
Jul. 20th, 2010 04:33 pm (UTC)
Yep. That's why the thing I'm pissed about is spreading it - that's all on me. The original idiocy is something I inherited. Now I just need to fix it.

Of course, somewhere in Middletown, someone is cursing me for planting Bishop's Weed, so my hands aren't exactly clean... :-)
Jul. 20th, 2010 01:22 pm (UTC)
I hate using them but is herbicide an option? I have some invasive weed and have tried for 8 or 9 years to get rid of it. I finally resorted to the chemicals. So far, so good. I imagine it'll be a couple years before all the seeds sprout.
Jul. 20th, 2010 04:35 pm (UTC)
From what I read, yes. I'm going to be very careful - from what I'm seeing, this stuff is worse for the environment than a little bit of herbicide would be - and I'm right down the road from a state wildlife area. If it gets into Sessions Woods, it won't be *my* fault!
Jul. 20th, 2010 04:47 pm (UTC)
I'm in a similar situation since there's a brook that borders my property and the law in my town is 100' back from the shore. That means the 100' goes right through the back corner of my house. I'd be careful anyway, but being waterside means I am all the more careful. A little herbicide vs an invasive is pretty much a no-brainer for me.
Jul. 20th, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC)
I'm SO glad that I'm not near water. What this stuff does when it can get to a watercourse is just awful.
Jul. 20th, 2010 08:25 pm (UTC)
I can't do anything. Cut a tree down, even if it's old and endangering the house? I need to get town approval. What was already in place for gardening is grandfathered but I can't add to it, or change grade (I'd love to the run off is wicked). It's restrictive, and I understand the reasons for it, but it's a pain too. It's a trade off. Water sounds or regulations to prevent the water from being abused.

Jul. 20th, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC)
I don't really know much about plant propagation, but if you don't think that wind might spread the stuff to our yard we've probably got a safe place to burn whatever you dig up. We've got a beach down by the lake - all sand, plenty of water nearby just in case (!) and we like burning stuff down there. Boston may be a bit far to travel, but we can probably work something out.
Jul. 20th, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC)
I'll put it on the list. The other idea I had was half of a 55 gallon drum, and burning it off by bits.

First I've got to find it, though.
Jul. 20th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC)
I don't recommend baking them in the oven -- Rob tried that with some potting soil that had bugs in it, and it smells ATROCIOUS. Which is too bad because you've got such lovely fireplaces. ;)

Would it work to worm-compost them and store them long enough for the weeds to all sprout? If you think yes, set up a watertight compostbin and we'll give you a starter-set of red wriggler worms. Toss anything questionable in there, and leave it in a place that the seeds will be warm enough to try to sprout.

Rob&I got Jane interested in the worm-composting idea, and Chris found plans to build one out of a rubbermaid-style storage tub. For some reason I suspect you have a few of those around.

Sleepy. Should never take antihistamines on a weekday.
Jul. 20th, 2010 08:12 pm (UTC)
No worm composting - I read about someone who *accidentally* got it into their worm composter. Not good. A piece the size of a fingernail will sprout.

I can't be bothered to do the worm composting thing artificially. I dump the stuff out back and the wild worms take care of it. Of course that's how I got into this trouble in the first place...
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )