Getting rid of invasive bulbs

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by akimbo, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. akimbo

    akimbo Active Member

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    I'm restoring a Garry oak meadow in Victoria. Have removed thousands of invasive spanish bluebell, crocus, and snowdrops. Have combed carefully through the soil several times, and again before planting the new native plants but there are still many bulbs coming up. Ideally I would not have planted for one or two years, but felt pressured to plant now to satisfy neighbours who questioned the goal of this restoration (and who "loved" the spanish bluebell). I will be compromising the roots of my new native plants if I have to dig up the invasive bulbs. Is there any way to safely kill bulbs by applying something to the leaves, or ... ????

    Thanks for your thoughts.
     
  2. Margot

    Margot Active Member

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    I can certainly empathize with your efforts. You probably realize that even after you have meticulously removed every visible 'foreign' bulb, they can still grow from seeds. I am embarked on a similar quest to let native bulbs prevail in an area of my garden in Garry Oak territory. It is a challenge. Glyphosate might kill young seedlings of unwanted bulbs (if you can recognize them early on) but it's probably just as easy to pry them up as soon as they reveal themselves.
     
  3. akimbo

    akimbo Active Member

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    Thanks Margot, No doubt the seed bank in that soil will provide me with 'job security' for years to come. I'm pretty good at using a steak knife to pry unwanted bulbs out when they are not too deep or too thick among others, but otherwise, I'm hoping for alternative treatments. :)
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Glyphosate is less toxic to monocots than to dicots - that's why it is so extensively used on cereal fields as a herbicide. So don't expect much success with it. Also bear in mind that recent evidence has shown its toxicity to people (as a carcinogen) to be rather higher than thought before; there is a strong move to have it banned in the EU.
     
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  5. Keke

    Keke Active Member

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    You know that when you do pull up the unwanted bluebell bulbs, you can leave them out on a sidewalk or other paved area? The squirrels like to eat them, over and above anything I ever left planted. I never found that the animals reburied them this time of the year. You do run the risk of them reburying them in the late summer or fall, but not in the spring.
     
  6. akimbo

    akimbo Active Member

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    Good to know, but I would still be afraid of squirrels burying them. :) Besides, in Victoria, the squirrels aren't going hungry. There are millions of Garry oak acorns to eat. And, of course, the squirrels aren't native to BC. The only native squirrel is the Douglas squirrel and they are forest dwellers. :)
     

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