WATCH: Invasive weeds are becoming more common. Some are easier to get rid of than others. Global’s Ray Bradshaw talked to some experts today about invasive weeds and what we can do about them.
HALIFAX – If you’re out taking advantage of the sunny weather to work in your garden, you may be coming across some unwelcome guests. Invasive weeds – varieties that choke out native plants and can even pose a hazard to the ecosystem – are becoming more common. Some are easier to get rid of than others.
The Japanese Knotweed may look pretty to some people, but not to others. It has a massive root system, making it difficult to get rid of.
“In there is one massive, massive root,” said Dave Woodbury, as he pointed to the base of the Japanese Knotweed plants.
Woodbury, who operates Turf Medic Lawn Care adds, “You literally got to dig down three to five meters to ensure that you get rid of it.”
Woodbury said it can get expensive, so most people put up with Japanese Knotweed.
“The one product you can try is a controlled product called Roundup. You can only purchase this product if you can prove you have this invasive species,” said Emily Tregunno of The Halifax Seed Company.
One of the highest concentrations of Japanese Knotweed surrounds a burial ground in Dartmouth – a city property. Rows of it stretch along the perimeter. There’s so much of it at St. Paul’s Cemetery, there’s really not much anyone can do about it.
Woodbury notes the plants are not from around here.
“They’ll just thrive, and the problem is there’s nothing naturally to get rid of them,” said Woodbury.
Improper maintenance led to a lawn in south end Halifax to get covered in goutweed.
“[Goutweed] will basically take over any property or garden,” says Chris Little, the operator of Neat Lawn Care. “It’s very, very difficult to get rid of and part of the reason is that it spreads through it’s long, tangled root system.”
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Tregunno adds, “Goutweed, there’s not a whole lot you can do.” She says applying a product like horticultural vinegar won’t get down to the long, thick root system to kill it off. Again, the only way to get rid of it, is dig below the roots.
“We basically try to cover it up with the plastic to help kill it,” says Little.
So, what do you do with Japanese Knotweed and similar plants after they are dug up?
“I recommend a black plastic bag,” says Tregunno. “The hotter these weed seeds heat up, the more likely they are to die.”