Triffids invade my Garden!

We have a bad case of ‘Japanese Knotweed’ invading our side yard/compost heap area and Annie is certain that the knotweed will send roots down into the basement walls and attack the foundation.

Knotweed looks like bamboo (especially after it dries) and I first noticed it last year (before I knew what it was or how persistent it is). Since the neighbors put in an ugly-ass plastic stockade fence, I didn’t mind this mysterious bamboo-like plant that grew tall over the summer and helped obscure the plastic fence. Later we discovered it is considered and invasive species. At first I used a machete to cut it all down. Within days, new plants sprang up, 1′ tall or higher. It was almost as if you could watch that shit growing. Although I hate herbicides (and Annie hates poisons even more), I bought some of that evil ‘Round Up’ and sprayed that on the surface root clusters after having whacked it all down with the machete a second time. Round-Up barely slowed the knotweed down. Now I’ve gotten out a series of tarps and ground cover cloths, whacked down the standing plants with a machete for the fourth or fifth time and covered them up, hoping to light-starve them to death. Already I see that the sprouts are pushing up the tarp and the knotweed colony is sending out shoots to areas not covered by the tarp. Dammit!

This knotweed stuff is adaptable and fast growing. Annie found out you can eat the young stems (steamed), but it just doesn’t taste like anything… chopped knotweed stems in spaghetti sauce or similar dishes just add bulk, not flavor (at least no flavor that I can detect). It is supposed to be a good source of reservatrol. I’ll keep it in mind as a ‘bulk fodder’ to keep us alive after the economic collapse occurs.


4 Comments on “Triffids invade my Garden!”

  1. christian says:

    The house I recently bought has all kinds of invasive species that the previous owners purposely planted. It all makes me insane. I had to dig up large sections of the yard to get at all the rhizomes, but that stuff just keeps coming. It makes me want to punch the former tenants in the face.

    Good luck with your battle. Perhaps a flamethrower might help.

  2. richard says:

    I've often thought about using it for paper. Alas I don't know of any magic method for getting rid of it: cutting, light starvation… maybe digging the earth right out and sifting it for rhizomes. I wonder, actually, if you keep at cutting it every few days, if it would be possible to establish some other species there that would drive it out (grass being an obvious candidate).

  3. Melan says:

    I've got ivy all over my small backyard, but actually like it a lot. Nice, green, and it has so far only devoured burglars and the occasional stray cat.

  4. Rob says:

    Knotweed. Vile, vile knotweed.

    It took me three years of constant attention to get rid of a small patch. I am in Alaska, so our winters help with that fight.

    This is the best info source. http://www.invasive.org/gist/moredocs/polspp01.pdf

    Kil it now, before it is too late.

    (Love the blog and your art, fwiw and btw)


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