WEEDS - What are your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Plants: Conservation' started by Margot, Dec 4, 2020.

  1. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    My attention always turns to weeds at this time of year when the annual weed seeds begin to germinate. I manage to keep on top of them during the summer but by the time autumn rolls around, I am getting tired and let them go until springtime - before they go to seed.

    What is really bothering me this year is not so much the ordinary nuisance weeds that show up routinely every year but with the invasive weeds that have been moving into this area since it was first opened to development.

    Maybe I'm being foolish but I believe my area harboured very few non-native plants even as recently as 50 years ago. It was quite isolated in a region with a very low population so I'm confident that most of the Garry Oak habitat plants including trees, shrubs, perennials (especially bulbs) dominated the landscape. It would have been very interesting to document what was growing here then with what is growing here now.

    Even in the 15 years my husband and I have lived here, the increase in variety and numbers of non-native - especially invasive - plants is positively shocking. When we arrived, I easily eliminated verbascum, tansy, St. John's Wort plus a variety of introduced grasses. Recently, however, terrible thugs have been moving in - Daphne laureola, blackberry, Euphorbia esula, several thistles and mustards.

    It's funny in a way that while most neighbours recognize that _ _ _ _ _ _ Broom is a big problem and pull it out, they don't seem to realize that some of these other newcomers are equally problematic. (Everyone loves Spurge Laurel.) So, little effort is being made to control their proliferation.

    I'd be interested to hear about the experiences of others on this Forum dealing with weeds generally and new invasives in particular.
     
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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @Margot good afternoon Margot, yes I have to agree with you by the time Winter is here I'm feeling more like being inside keeping warm than weeding. But I do try and keep on top of it otherwise it can take over. So just a little at this time of year I find is enough as everything is going to sleep.
    As far as invasive plants, I find it is often a loosing battle as not everyone is as concerned as people on this forum. I see gardens near me with invasive plants taking over, but nothing ever done about it. Tbh I don't think the people have the time to consider these as they are commuting back and forth to London, taking up 14 hours of every day.
    But I think as long as some of us try our best to reduce non native and invasive species it might rub off.
    Good discussion point though.
     
  3. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Contributor

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    I wonder if the popularity in last few decades of viewing birds and feeding birds has spread some seeds and ultimately weeds

    I notice volunteer sunflowers

    And volunteer “short yellow-flowered” crop plant

    And some sort of grass

    ——-
    Also - Eng____ ivy!!!! The scourge (and holly shrubs)

    In the Okanagan there are introduced invasives due to imported hay and for other reasons too (when I say imported I mean from a diff Valley or region - there are, for example, provincial parks in Chilcotin where you can take your horse but not its hay - you have to buy hay harvested at the park or feed pelleted hay alfalfa )
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    An interesting dilemma: many invasive plants are serious weeds, because they are very fast growing, i.e., are very efficient at sequestering CO₂. Which is just what this planet needs at the moment.
     
  5. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Contributor

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  6. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Speaking of weeds . . . I had this area (~800 sq. ft.) completely weeded a few years ago but, with no way to mulch and prevent germination, it is worse now than ever. Terrible invasives like Euphorbia esula, thistles and mustards are taking over. There are several channels through the slope where water flows fiercely during the rainy season so I really don't know what to do with it. The only bright note is that hundreds of Camassia leichtlinii bloom in profusion in the spring. Any suggestions?
     

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  7. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    My experience with a very mossy back yard is that I have to thoroughly weed any non-moss plants every spring, and then in midsummer. That usually keeps them under control. That said, I would love to know is there is a product out there that kills grass and leaves moss untouched. Everything available seems to be designed the other way around. It helps that our moss cover is quite thick, so there are not that many grasses that germinate, but weeding is tedious and not that enjoyable; I feel like a mountain goat climbing the rocks in the yard, it does do a number to your back.. Speaking of goats, they are a great way to keep weeds in check, just not practical for our situation.
    The most worrisome invasive species we have seen in the neighborhood is the Japanese knotweed. A couple of years ago my husband spotted a couple of young plants in our front yard and freaked out. He used undiluted Roundup on them, and it seems to have worked. He keeps patrolling the yard every spring for new arrivals. I hate using strong chemicals, but in that case I agreed, it seems we had no choice.
    Again, if anyone knows how to kill grass but not moss, I would like to know..
     
  8. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Contributor

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    Reply to Nik - yes I agree with your decision to go straight at that J Knotweed - horrid invasive

    Margot - this is an interesting article - I don’t know what this group is - so take it as you wish (I found it informative esp the “management” section.)
    GISD


    And for what it’s worth - here is the same organization’s Top 100 in both plant and animal kingdoms
    How many we recognize incl zebra mussel (Okanagan lake)
    GISD
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2020
  9. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Hello @Nik - Glyphosate (Roundup) does not kill moss. I spent hours over the years trying to pull annual weeds out of the moss in my garden before someone told me that. Many scientific studies have determined that Glyphosate is not nearly so toxic as some believe. Even my trusted authority, Linda Chalker-Scott, has said that she uses it to suppress particular weed problems - infrequently and correctly.

    Here are a couple of studies:
    Glyphosate General Fact Sheet.
    Facts and Fallacies in the Debate on Glyphosate Toxicity Be sure to read the Conclusion if nothing else.
     
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  10. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Hello @Georgia Strait - thank you for the article on controlling Euphorbia esula; very thorough and interesting. I think I'd better make that wild area a priority next year as soon as it's dry enough to get in there. I know the Euphorbia is easy enough to hand pull for a year or two after it germinates. As for the established plants, I'll keep them cut down so they'll lose vigor and hopefully die. The other weeds in there do not have rhizomatous roots so controlling them is mainly a matter of preventing them from going to seed. Easier said than done!
     
  11. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Goid afternoon Margot, I agree fully with N @Nik comments and love that wild look. Your 800 sq ft is amazing Margot as is N's and I would only add a tree or two and then encourage Fungi and Lichen and a few bog plants here and there that would perhaps give some added interest.
    Nature does everything best IMO.
    Very, very jealous of what you have there and a water feature to die for!!
     

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