If you reside in the US or the UK, then you have probably heard or come across the invasive weed Japanese Knotweed. This noxious weed which is also known botanically as Polygonum Cuspidatum has been wreaking havoc and destruction in many lawns and gardens across the US and the UK over the last decades raising alarm among many homeowners and environmentalists alike.
Those who have attempted to eradicate the Japanese Knotweed can attest that it is a delicate process that requires care and watchfulness to avoid spreading to new areas. In other words, it takes just one piece of Japanese Knotweed dropping on a cultivated land, and you will have the whole place populated with the weed within no time.
Luckily, it is more reasonable and practical to control the Japanese Knotweed in a forested environment unlike in a cultivated area with ample sunlight. Here, the idea is that cultivated soils offer a suitable environment for the weed`s rhizomes to hide and germinate to new plants. If the Japanese Knotweed is already growing in your lawn, you should not try to kill it by cultivating the area around it, because this will give it more drive to spread and conquer new areas, causing you, even more, destruction. So what should you to get rid of the Japanese Knotweed once and for all? Let’s see some of the top strategies which can eradicate the weed.
Japanese Knotweed Removal Strategies
- Weed Killers – Japanese Knotweed Expert Ltd say that using weed killers is a good way of getting rid of the Japanese Knotweed. However, only weed killers containing glyphosate are recommended here because they are more efficient and effective. Some examples of glyphosate-containing weed killers which you can use include Gallup, Landmaster, Ranger, Touchdown, and Roundup. Most of these herbicides are sprayed on the plant`s foliage after mixing with water. Spraying should be done during early fall or late summer when most nutrients are being transported to the food reserves in the rhizomes, allowing the killers to interfere with food storage. However, you can also spray the weeds regularly throughout the year, giving them less time to recover, thereby destroying them.
- Smothering – Another great way to eradicating the Japanese plant is by using smothering tarps. However, unlike weed killers, smothering aims at suppressing the weed, allowing you to reclaim the land in the short term while you carry on subduing it for the long term.
- Here you start by identifying the plants then cover their shoots using large polyethylene or plastic bags and smother them. For better results, you should cover the tarps before the beginning of spring so that their growth is hampered effectively. This technique is relatively cheap and environmentally friendly unlike the use of chemicals.
- Smothering works by depriving the plant of the vital sunlight energy, forcing the weeds to dry up and die slowly. While it is known that the Japanese knotweed can push through plastic tarps, their growth is usually hindered in the long term when their shoots are covered, giving ground for their elimination.
- Cutting – While this technique isn’t quite effective in eliminating the weed, you can use it when the weeds have overgrown or allow chemicals to penetrate during spraying. Cutting back also serves to slow down the photosynthetic activity of the plants, halting their spread temporarily. This method is not preferred by many because it does eradicate the weeds completely.
- Digging – If you are fed-up with other methods such as cutting and spraying, perhaps it’s time you consider digging into the ground where the weed`s rhizomes from which develops the Japanese knotweed`s shoots and roots. If the plant has gained enough ground in your lawn, you may have to dig up to one foot or more to uproot the rhizome clumps. Once you get the rhizome clumps, collect them into a bag; do not compost or bury them because they might end up in your garden again. Digging up is a long-term measure which you must continue until you eliminate the Japanese knotweed.
Japanese knotweed removal is a long process that requires your patience and commitment. However, with a multi-pronged strategy involving all the techniques discussed above, you can eliminate the weed within much less time unlike when you would employ a single strategy.