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Re: [pfaf] Japanese Knotweed

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  • Griselda
    I spent a long time researching this on the net and in practice, trying to remove a patch of about 80 sq metres of it from a garden. I found there are three
    Message 1 of 36 , Feb 14, 2007
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      I spent a long time researching this on the net and in practice, trying to
      remove a patch of about 80 sq metres of it from a garden.

      I found there are three parts of this plant to deal with: the stalks, the
      surface Œroots¹ and the deep underground rhizomes (the real problem). Each
      part needs different treatment.

      I found that repeated scything worked very well for the stalks, once they
      have grown more than a foot or two, you just keep doing it, several times a
      season. You lay them out to dry, preferably in the sun, and then either
      compost them when they are totally dried out or burn them. Scything is
      good in that you get a clean cut, without spreading living small fragments
      around the place too much. It is also very satisfying and you can get
      through a large patch quite quickly.

      Then you are faced with the clumps in the ground. The scythed-off stalk
      stumps eventually dry out and die. Pulling these out gives you the illusion
      you are pulling the roots up. You can get a clump of Œroot¹ stuff out with
      each stalk, but of course this grows from a rhizome much deeper underground
      ­ some authorities say these rhizomes can grow down several metres, so it is
      impractical to dig them out.

      When you get these surface Œroots¹ out, you need to burn them. If you dry
      them, they do not die and can regenerate. Do not compost these parts. Some
      people worry about bonfires, as they are contributing to pollution, but if
      you do burn these root clumps, the ash is good for fertiliser.

      The only way you can attack the deep rhizomes is by total surface attack ­
      remove all photosynthesising parts for a very long time (years?), or if you
      are in a hurry you have to use chemicals which go all the way down, which I
      confess I resorted to in the end, with great reluctance. However, this
      did start to work at the edges of the patch, where I guess the rhizome
      structure was weaker or younger ­ I saw considerably less regrowth and new
      shoots appearing. Some authorities say there is a danger that if you
      apply too much of the weedkiller it can leach or leak out of the rhizomes
      into neighbouring plants, so this might be a risk if you have valuable trees
      nearby. However, I was using glyphosate (Roundup) which claims to be
      inactive in the soil, so I don¹t know how it would carry across from the
      rhizomes to the roots of another plant....maybe this would happen if the
      rootlets were actually touching.

      I had immense satisfaction in starting to deal with this problem: commercial
      companies I approached quoted thousands of pounds to do the job and gave no
      guarantees it would work without excavating the whole site to a depth of
      five metres! I think I will have eradicated it by myself and with very
      simple methods within 3 years, and using only a minimum of chemical.

      By the way, the shoots taste horrible. I¹d rather have aspargus any day. Or
      nettles.

      Griselda






      > -early shoots can be eaten like asparagus
      > -goats & pigs love it but needs to be rationed because they will eat
      > it until it makes them sick
      > -we make panpipes & flutes from the dried stalks
      > -& the famous Chinese tonic for long life Shou Wei is made from it
      >
      > & of course don't ever plant it where you're not gonna want it in 20
      > years.
      >
      > ~mIEKAL
      >
      > On Feb 14, 2007, at 8:53 AM, Dee Harris wrote:
      >
      >> > I haven't had a chance to get to the original post about Japanese
      >> > Knotweed so can someone fill me in? Is Japanese Knotweed only good
      >> > for breaking down compost or is it good for other uses?
      >> > Wolf
      >
      >




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    • Dee Harris
      There is only one natural predator for such plants but I wouldn t suggest putting them in any garden since they spread faster than the plants do and that s
      Message 36 of 36 , Feb 16, 2007
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        There is only one natural predator for such plants but I wouldn't suggest putting them in any garden since they spread faster than the plants do and that's grub worms. They will kill off anything in their area.
        Wolf

        Pat Meadows <pat@...> wrote:
        On Fri, 16 Feb 2007 06:30:41 -0800 (PST), you wrote:

        >Little wonder if it's as invasive as you say. Sounds like what burdock does.

        I think the prize for Horrible Invasive Plants goes to giant hogweed,
        however. That stuff is SCARY!

        http://dnr.metrokc.gov/wlr/LANDS/weeds/pdf/Hogweed_factsheet.pdf

        I have never seen it, just read about it. I hope it stays that way.

        Pat

        --
        In the Appalachian Mountains in northern Pennsylvania
        Blog: http://www.entire-of-itself.blogspot.com

        'Every one of us can do something to protect and
        care for our planet. We should live in such a way
        that makes a future possible.' - Thich Nhat Hanh








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