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  • Paula Thompson
    Paula Thompson

    Keeping Invasive Plant Growth in Check

    Dealing with invasive plants can feel like a never-ending battle for homeowners. Nobody likes to give up a large portion of their lawn or garden bed to a pesky weed, so people resort to numerous methods in order to keep invasive plant growth in check. It's all too easy, however, to reach a point of frustration when it feels like it's only a matter of time before neighbor's invasive plant spreads everywhere. Luckily, there are ways to stem the tide. Here is a guide to understanding and managing invasive plants in an effort to turn the tide and protect your lawn and garden.

    Invasive plants vary from region to region and grow aggressively and dense, crowding out native species that otherwise thrive in the area. Invasive plant growth comes in many forms, from overgrown vines, towering sedge grass, or fast-growing shrubs and trees. Many homeowners choose to try to control weeds and other key invasive species by digging them out by hand or hoe, spraying chemical herbicides, and installing obstacles like plastic sheeting or containment barriers around prized garden beds or ornamental trees or shrubs.

    These strategies are certainly effective, but there are two major points to bear in mind when devising a plan to combat invasive plants. First, it's important to address any underlying issues such as poor soil quality in order to ensure the success and longevity of any solution implemented. Secondly, any action taken must be sustainable, meaning that the techniques used must be conducted on a regular basis and kept up throughout the growing season.

    The most effective way of managing invasive plants is to combine mechanical means such as manual weeding and hoeing with organic techniques like mulching and using beneficial insects, both of which create an environment more favouring to healthy plant growth than the conditions surrounding the invading species. careful planning and selection of plant varieties suited to the local climate should be done, keeping in mind the competition from strong weeds vying for space and nutrients.

    Also consider how the severity of the problem can be ameliorated through natural means such as flooding or prescribed burns, both of which can kill or weaken an especially tenacious invasive species. Similarly, physical or chemical references may be used to block off entire areas of land as a way to prevent further spread of the plant. Selection of appropriate annuals and perennials to boost wildflower populations can provide an alternate food source for pollinators that had relied on the invading species.

    Belowground strategies can also be employed against the invasion. Mulch serves to smother invading species, while employing methods such as deep tilling will disrupt the root systems and lessen the spread of the pest species. Also, adding soil amendments to the areas where invasive plants are present can help improve soil fertility, making it less hospitable to aggressive growth.

    But it all comes down to effort, hard work, patience and persistence – the same principles driving gardeners and farmers since the dawn of civilisation. During the struggle against invasive plants, attentive observation is critical, as even a small sprouting can develop into problem in a short matter of time. This vigilance pays off in the long run, as treating small problems quickly ensures maximum efficiency. With the correct application of knowledge and labour, any homeowner can successfully tackle the nuisance that is invasive plants.

    Whether it has been for centuries or only for days, if it has invaded your property, it's only a matter of time before neighbor's invasive plant spreads everywhere. However, as long as you are diligent and employ the tips presented here, you can be sure to reduce the spread of the invasion and allow your preferred plants to flourish on your property.

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