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safe to use porcelain berry vines in hugels?

 
Steven Kovacs
Posts: 154
Location: Western Massachusetts (USDA zone 5a, heating zone 5, 40"+)
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I've got a lot of cut vines from invasive porcelain berry, and I'd like to put them to good use. Is it safe to put them in hugels, or will they grow back? The vines were cut in the summer and I plan to leave them in a pile outside (exposed to rain and snow) over the winter, then chop them up into 4-6' lengths before using them. Is that enough abuse to make sure they won't regrow?
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1969
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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bee books chicken forest garden fungi trees
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Is it just the vines or are the berries on there too? I've only had two years of experience with this vine but it seems to me that the berries are where most of the next year's plants come from. Boy porcelain berry grows fast!

Does it root along the stem? I haven't noticed that but I may have missed it among the other invasive vines. Asian bittersweet and Asian honeysuckle are the worst so far. The bittersweet can be dried over the winter and it dies, but the honeysuckle needs to be killed. I used to burn it but now I ferment it. I stuff the vines into 5 gallon buckets and fill with water, leaving it over the winter. The anaerobic smell is yucky but the buckets can be dumped into hugels and the nutrients and carbon remain in the system.

 
Steven Kovacs
Posts: 154
Location: Western Massachusetts (USDA zone 5a, heating zone 5, 40"+)
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Matu,

There are no berries, thankfully - I think the birds ate them all or they rotted once the vines were cut.

I haven't seen any evidence it can root along the stem, but I don't want to take any chances. Some protocols for dealing with it say not to bury it, but I can't find a definitive answer anywhere.

So far the vines seem to be rotting nicely and there is some fungus growing on the cut ends, so I'm hopeful this stuff is Really Dead.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1969
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
69
bee books chicken forest garden fungi trees
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If I were you I'd feel ok throwing them in a hugel if there's fungus growing out of them.

Bird who ate the berries on someone else's property will come and poop the seeds at your place anyway! Vigilance.
 
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