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Combating intrusive weeds such as common reed, purple loosestrife and others.

 
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Hey there! Just wanna drop by heading toward the weekend. I'm looking for more ways to stop not just reeds, purple loosestrife, buckthorn and canary grass, but others as well. I'm looking for some nontoxic and non chemical ways to vanquish invisive exotic plants that absolutely destroy all native habitats and wildlife by their deep root systems and their thickness. I've seen folks use tarp over the weeds to dry them out, but I'm looking for more permanent ways to end invaders forever. I've got intruders in my community plot at my farming program and I couldn't do anything by myself with all the pulling and stuff. Since we roll into fall, are there any ways out there to stop invasive weeds in our gardens and all places? Please drop in your ideas and stuff to help combat weeds to save all native wildlife habitat and farmland from being wiped out from the face of the earth. Much love to all!
 
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I know nothing about the plants that you mentioned.

I have been combatting weeds in my Zone 1 this year.  What I found that works the best for me is strips of metal.  What I used was short pieces of leftover roofing.

This summer I have used lots of things because they were the only things available though mostly cardboard.

The reason I feel the metal worked better for me rather than cardboard was that the sun heated up the metal, sort of like baking what was under it.

When I picked up the metal usually depending on the amount of time was that the plant was either dead or had turned yellow allowing it to be easily pulled up.

This has been working really well on juniper trees.

I expect some of our other members will say what works best for them.
 
Blake Lenoir
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I mean plants being introduced from Europe and Asia and even other parts of the country. Common reed or phragmite's powerful enough to over root  over the roots of native plants and choking them out in the process, and therefore overshade them by their towering height, taking away sunlight and making nesting difficult for native birds. Same with purple loosestrife and buckthorn which are also from Eurasia by man which will absolutely conquer native wetland and woodland habitat and therefore difficult for native creatures to control them long term. Garlic mustard, Asian water hemlock and others are also causing serious havoc on our native ecosystems and farmland. Check out and Google the stuff I'm taking about and see if they're true. Please educate yourself on the consequences of exotics being brought overseas and leaving native American plants and animals without a future.
 
Anne Miller
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Blake Lenoir wrote: Check out and Google the stuff I'm taking about and see if they're true. Please educate yourself on the consequences of exotics being brought overseas and leaving native American plants and animals without a future.



I do what you are suggesting with every new plant I come across.  Most of my unknown plants are native plants as there are not many plants from overseas on my property.

Unfortunately, I do have burr clover which was imported to feed animals.  I have found that ignoring it has worked best for me.

I feel I have a very good understanding of invasives.  My signature has some information on invasives from one of Stephen Herrod Buhner's books that says:

Invasive plants are Earth's way of insisting we notice her medicines.



This thread might be of interest:

https://permies.com/t/164831/Making-peace-invasives
 
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My hometown had a big problem with purple loosestrife back in the 1990s. It seems better now than it was, I think an introduced bug was part of the solution, but I'm not totally sure.  I'll check into it.

I think with big invasions, it helps to get a big group together for a day to help with the weeding, like the forest preserve does sometimes gathering volunteers to pull up garlic mustard or cut buckthorn.

May you could host a buckthorn eradication hoe-down?
 
Blake Lenoir
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M.K! I'd like to invite you to one of my farming plots on the far south side to aid me in combating purple loosestrife and other invaders from causing further damage to the farming and native landscape in my region. Any tools in mind to vanquish them for good?
 
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I have found that when dealing with invasive plants, it really helps to observe first. What plants are present and what roles are they filling? Are they providing something for wildlife, even if it isn't ideal? This isn't to say you can't still remove the plants, but I feel it's usually more effective if you fill the role they were performing with another plant. Otherwise someone else will just show up to fill the gap. Another point to consider is that I often see people removing invasives from a large area and doing nothing to protect the soil. It can be the case that the seed bank will take care of things, but it's good to have a plan to ensure it doesn't erode either with planting, mulch or the like.

If the scope of the problem is a bit much, it's good to prioritize. For example, when I started stewarding the land where I live, there were numerous invasives present and it felt overwhelming. So I looked at which have the greatest potential to harm if left unchecked, for example, areas where they were actively competing with native plants was higher priority. I also considered which would be easiest to address, the low hanging fruit if you will. So I chose to focus my energy on those plants first.
Since I'm dealing with a plethora of invasives, I often focus on reducing their ability to reproduce and spread rather than always going for complete removal, since that is difficult with some of them and I can only do so much. Constant chopping or mowing is pretty effective at this, since they can't make seeds or even photosynthesize, if you're really on it. It's even working on the Japanese knotweed, which if you read about, people will tell you it's basically impossible to get rid of. I think it just takes time and persistence.

If you can find a use for the plants, so much the better. I ate some of the knotweed, but I regret not making medicine from the roots when I dug out all the big ones. I've made (and helped others make) so many baskets out of euonymus and ivy. Firewood, hugels, fire by friction bows, and all manner of other crafts out of bush honeysuckle. I'm sure lots of the invasive plants have food, medicinal or other uses. Not only is it rewarding, it feels more respectful to me. Plus, it's easier to get a group of people to help you remove invasives if you're offering them something like food, medicine, or materials for crafts to boot.

I know invasives are discouraging and worrisome. I believe they often do need to be addressed for the sake of the native flora and fauna, but don't lose hope. The native plants are amazingly resilient and can even be allies in dealing with invasives. The area I've removed knotweed, euonymus, honeysuckle and garlic mustard from is now incredibly diverse and native plants are popping up everywhere. Almost none of them were planted by me. Goldenrod, sumac, nettle and countless others have shown up and are even giving the remaining knotweed a run for its money. There were even some native spring ephemerals and a hazelnut that must've been hanging on for who knows how long under the rule of honeysuckle and knotweed, maybe decades. I just gave them some room to breathe. The number of native birds, bees and other life is phenomenal. The invasive plants aren't even totally gone, and it's only been a couple years, so I can't wait to see what happens with more time and care. You don't have to remove all of them perfectly, just start doing what you can.
 
Blake Lenoir
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Anybody used goats before to eliminate intrusive weeds to prevent further spread on growing properties and pushing back possible disease and that sorta thing? I wish anybody could've used goats for phragmites and purple loosestrife during their rampage in the marshes and woods.
 
Mk Neal
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Blake, here is a description of how Minnesota got loosestrife under control:
Minnesota DNR purple loosestrife control
 
Blake Lenoir
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Capital idea! You used goats before to control weeds? I've got goats down at my community farm on the south side and could've used to to control invasive weeds such as reeds and so fourth.
 
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