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571Re: [pfaf] Groundnut question

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  • KenFern
    Jun 14, 2004
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      Can I ask just how vigorous your plants are? My information is that the
      plant rarely grows more than 4 feet high (though occasional plants I am
      growing here have managed to get 5 feet into a young hawthorn). If your
      plants are more vigorous than this, then I assume you have identified them

      Have you visited http://plants.usda.gov/. There is a lot of info here about
      native American plants.

      As to controlling it, if you are certain that it is Apios americana then,
      after saving a few tubers and sending them to me at

      Plants for a Future
      The Field
      PL22 0NG

      (actually, you don't have to, but I wouldn't be upset if a few tubers found
      there way to Cornwall!!!)

      You could try controlling it by cutting down all the growth each time you
      are there (which will weaken it considerably) and then thoroughly raking the
      top few inches of the soil during the dormant season. Most of the tubers
      will be found in this shallow depth of soil - try baking them, they are
      delicious. Repeat this for a couple of years and you should find a very
      considerable reduction in the amount of plants growing. You can then simply
      keep the plant in control by raking each dormant period and eating most of
      the tubers.

      This is not the fastest way of controlling it, but is safer than chemicals.
      If the plants were not growing in amongst your other plants then sheet
      mulching would be the best answer - when applied in the spring it gives
      total eradication within 18 months and also re-fertilizes the soil.

      Hope this is of some help'

      Ken Fern

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "ellenrowe2004" <elrowe@...>
      To: <pfaf@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Friday, June 11, 2004 8:18 PM
      Subject: [pfaf] Groundnut question

      > Hi -
      > My family's property in Maine is being taken over by American
      > groundnut. I have been reading up on it and realize that it is a
      > plant that many people try and cultivate as the tubers are edible,
      > but it is acting like kudzu, climbing up young saplings and pulling
      > them down and generally creating a canopy over the vegetation
      > that we originally planted. It seems to spread so quickly that it is
      > impossible to control it by mere weeding (we are not there
      > throughout the summer and it grows out of control during our
      > abscence)
      > Does anyone have any ideas as to how we could either
      > eradicate it or control it in as eco-friendly a manner possible?
      > Thanks for any help or advice you can give me!
      > Ellen Rowe
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
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