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Huge Problems with Ferns  RSS feed

 
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Hello permies

we are an alternative community ( https://es.gofundme.com/rainbow-crystal-land-magic-hat )

And we have a lot of ferns and they are so invasive. They overgrow everything and we cant seem to push them back, I tried sheet mulching but they penetrate through the sheets.
Does anybody has ideas what we could do about them?

Thank you
 
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They seem to give up after getting cut a few times for me.  Mine are a Bracken Fern that grows on a 2' stalk.  Once they're up I just cut them and they have to make a whole new fern.  Cut that and they start to slow down.  A few more cuts and they kinda give up.  I use the lawnmower but I bet a scythe would work nicely.
 
Yuca Rainbow
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Mike Jay wrote:They seem to give up after getting cut a few times for me.  Mine are a Bracken Fern that grows on a 2' stalk.  Once they're up I just cut them and they have to make a whole new fern.  Cut that and they start to slow down.  A few more cuts and they kinda give up.  I use the lawnmower but I bet a scythe would work nicely.



we trying this since 2 years but so far no progress. We tried plugging, cutting, cutting the roots, nothing seems to work what we tried.
 
Mike Jay
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What kind of ferns are they and where in the world are you?  Maybe others in your region will have tips.
 
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Some fern species are a lot like bamboo in that they can reproduce at rhizome junctions (joints) and that makes them very hard to eliminate. So, first thing to do is determine if you have one of those species, you will need to do a proper excavation, digging down around the plant's stalk until you find the root system and lift it from the soil as intact as possible, thick "runners" coming off the main stem will be the key. If you have one of these species, digging the whole thing up will be about the only way to get rid of it so it won't continue to come back.

If it isn't one of these species, then cutting at ground level, every time fiddle heads appear will eventually wear the root system out and it will die off.
You can also change the pH of the soil which will make fern survival far less likely, this usually takes a 2 whole point shift in pH. (most ferns like basic soils but a few like acidic soils so at least a litmus paper pH test is advisable prior to making any pH shift.)
 
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Yuca Rainbow wrote:

Mike Jay wrote:They seem to give up after getting cut a few times for me.  Mine are a Bracken Fern that grows on a 2' stalk.  Once they're up I just cut them and they have to make a whole new fern.  Cut that and they start to slow down.  A few more cuts and they kinda give up.  I use the lawnmower but I bet a scythe would work nicely.



we trying this since 2 years but so far no progress. We tried plugging, cutting, cutting the roots, nothing seems to work what we tried.



We've been battling bracken at our place for three years.  A couple of the areas we try to keep clear were very, very densely covered when we started.  We weed multiple times a year - whenever we have time basically, but most consistently in May-July, to control the green alder sawfly larvae that come out in June.  They love bracken.  This year I think we started to see some improvement in the amount of bracken coming up.  It takes time.  Digging out the rhizomes helps, but in our area the size and strength of the rhizomes and the sheer number of them makes that very labour intensive.

I think it just comes down to persistence and time.  Ferns are tough.  There's a reason they've been around for hundreds of millions of years :)
 
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Depending on the size of the area, I have had the best results getting rid of really tough plants by covering them.  Black or clear plastic sheets work well.  There are lots of materials you can lie over them to kill them.  Plastic, carpet, roofing material, sheets of metal roofing, pond liner, any of it works.  The drawbacks are that it takes quite a while for the plants to die, and it takes a lot of whatever material to cover large areas.  It can take a year or so with really tough plants, but that is still less than the two years you have been trying.  I would caution you to plant immediately after killing off an area.  It also help to kill an area completely and have some sort of perimeter to keep the plants from moving back in from the sides into your cleared area.  You can use mechanical barriers, like tin buried on edge a foot or so deep, or use plants like comfrey that have really good root systems around the perimeter of the area you cleared.  Good luck to you.
 
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