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Knotweed Advice Needed  RSS feed

 
Sally Munoz
Posts: 28
Location: SW Washington
bee duck forest garden
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We just got a letter from our county stating that they need our permission to come onto our property and spray herbicides on a stand of knotweed. And they need to do it regularly for the next 3 years. From what I read on the internet, there is the possibility of using the goat/pig combo to knock it out, but that could take several years as well. I'm hesitant to allow the use of herbicides on our place, but we don't currently have goats or pigs and weren't really planning on raising any. Does anybody have experience with knotweed (polygunum spp.); using animals to control it, selective use of herbicides (honestly, just saying that makes me shudder, but it may be a last resort that we have to comply with legally), or something similar? Or just want to add their thoughts? Thanks!
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
58
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Sally Munoz : Actually a next door neighbor got very good results with 2 Layers of heavy black plastic, with a lite covering of a very dark brown
layer of 'mudstone' pebbles, This choice made it virtually impossible to spot dog Sh*t ! which was unfortunate. But the plastic membranes have
held up very well, right up to the property line where the Knot weed is Rampant ! Big AL !
 
Sally Munoz
Posts: 28
Location: SW Washington
bee duck forest garden
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That is a good idea - using black plastic to smother it. Maybe we can cut it down and burn the area first. I had to laugh about the dog doo camo. Kinda like the lovely wood chips that I use for my garden paths. At least the cats are tidy enough to create little wood chip hills so you know before you step.
 
Dan Tutor
Posts: 103
Location: Zone 5, Maine Coast
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A neighbor has had great luck with black plastic, seems like its worked completely over a few years.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1357
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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I have some and once they get over 5ft I cut them, hang them upside down and use them as mulch once they dry.
Currently thinking about using them to produce some mushroom, (wine cap maybe)

You could also let loose some grape vines or hardy kiwi, I so see them shading them out.
I
 
Will Holland
Posts: 300
Location: CT zone 5b
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I have some similar ideas to S Benji, but haven't tried them yet. All the knotweed at my place is along a brook, so I'm hesitant to start trying to remove it without a plan to replace it with something else that will hold the bank in place.

I'm going to try stripping the leaves for mulch or compost, and dry the stalks out to avoid resprouting, amd try to make mulch.
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
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Location: Maine (zone 5)
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The small shoots of Japanese Knotweed are edible. Similar to asparagus. They make nice hollow tubes for insect hotels once they die and dry out as mentioned above. Smothering works well, as does persistent Chop-n-drop. They may persist for a year or so but if they can't photosynthesize, they expire once the root mass loses all it's energy. Chickens seem to like to scratch around them too.

Chop and drop, then smother. I had a section about 10ftx20ft with stalks 6ft tall. Chopped it 4-5 times over the summer last year. The biggest stalk this year was about as thick as a marker and only about 3ft tall. I'm not totally eradicating it just trying to keep it at a reasonable size, but I suspect more abuse would kill it off pretty fast. Spraying seems like overkill if you'll pardon the pun. Too much collateral damage in my opinion.

Give a kid a stick and let him/her whack at the knotweed. That's really effective too. My kids like to chop it up in their "play kitchen" with dandelions and all sort of other weeds. They serve it to the chickens or to the microbes in the compost pile.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5722
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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You might want to check into the market for the root as a medicinal...If what you have is Polygonum cuspidatum Japanese Knotweed, it is the root used for tinctures as treatment for tick diseases. I think there might be a good market for the organic dried root if that is what you have. We have been told to be careful where we buy it because of the danger of herbicides having been used on the upper parts.
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Judith Thanks for the link, there is much to research here, beyond some Eastern Cultures Making a confection out of young sprouts similar to Candied Ginger,
my only interest is trying to make sure it doesn't show up on my land ! This includes not taking free Horse manure from a neighbor due to worries of
contamination !

I did learn that in many places on the eastern shore of Maryland it is commonly called " Out house Bamboo '' -sorta gives you an image picture =p !!!

Again thanks for the research ! For the Crafts ! Big AL

Late note, I have a friend who has Chickens Geese and Guinea Hens, and I believe it is the chickens that love the leaves ! A.L.
 
Topher Belknap
Posts: 205
Location: Midcoast Maine (zone 5b)
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I have been battling the knotweed for a decade or so. I find that just yanking it out of the ground, repeatedly, will reduce it to the point where it can be mown down, and eventually goes away. I started with probably 2 acres of the stuff, and am down to half that now. I am pushing it out of the places I want most, I haven't gotten to that other acre yet. One might be able to do a small patch in 3 years. Invite the press!

Thank You Kindly,
Topher
 
Sally Munoz
Posts: 28
Location: SW Washington
bee duck forest garden
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Thanks for all the replies! I can only imagine having 2 acres of the stuff - yikes! Our stand is maybe 15' x 15'. It's polygonum spp. so not Japanese Knotweed, but Himalayan or a hybrid. I talked to the county yesterday and they sounded willing to work with us whatever we decide to do. Takes some pressure off.
 
Michael Love
Posts: 5
Location: Olney, Maryland
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Sally Munoz wrote: Does anybody have experience with knotweed (polygunum spp.); using animals to control it, selective use of herbicides (honestly, just saying that makes me shudder, but it may be a last resort that we have to comply with legally), or something similar? Or just want to add their thoughts? Thanks!


Hi folks I am a new member of Permies in Central Maryland. Just wanted to mention regarding Knotweed that I saw a video on comfrey (different plant but none the less pervasive) that suggested when needing to remove an unwanted or poorly placed clump to create a hot compost heap over top of it for a whole season. The value of this if in fact it works is that it avoids herbicides but you could leave the compost material in place and plant something wanted.

Mike
 
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