How to balance weeds vs desirable reseeders.

docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)April 28, 2013

I have a large yard with many large beds in a woodland setting. Currently the beds contain English Ivy, Vinca minor, Lily of the Valley and an aggressive yellow Lamium. Last year I made great progress in one bed and was able to remove 30' x 40' of the invasives while preserving (transplanting) many Trillium. I left the area mostly bare to keep track of where I'd been and leave it available to plant new things into the space. Just now I've discovered hundreds of garlic mustard seedlings where I was hoping for columbine sprouts. Grrrrrrrr! Anywhere I left the oak leaves and pine needles, there are no spouts--good guys or bad. How can I encourage growth of native seedlings without the invasives taking hold? Also, my neighbors on either side literally vacuum their lawns and beds each fall and spray for Mosquitos before they have folks over for drinks by their pool. They're already shaking their heads at the leaves I did leave for weed suppression and nutrient/moisture retention. Any ideas or suggestions? I also wonder about the legality of transplanting native wildflowers on my own property for the purpose of saving them from chemical or physical damage that may occur as I clear away noxious invasive species. Hope to hear from some of you. TIA


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beachgrub(4 northern michigan)

This is probably NOT what u wanna hear but all i can think of is kill everything and start anew next year. You couldn't even dig up your faves and put aside because if there's ONE seed or piece of root from an invasive in it you'd have them everywhere in no time. BUT you could (while killing everything off in the beds) have pots and baskets to get you through and i know you're a WSer so you'd have them (beds) filled back up in no time. That's what i'd do. Oh, and screw the neighbors. ;)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 8:34PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

It's like eating an elephant, isn't it? One bite at a time, they say. I would just keep at it- manually pulling the weeds until the natives take over. You can transplant native flowers anywhere you like on your property.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 2:40AM
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I can certainly empathize with you as 2 years ago I had several dumptruck loads of 'topsoil' delivered to fill low spots in my extended house yard and to enlarge and raise my center bed. Unfortunately that soil was loaded with weed seeds. I spent a lot of time weeding the bed and had any visitor :D who could hold a weedwhacker cut down the others in the outer yard. My weedwhacker is too heavy for me to use. I've finally eliminated the weeds in my center bed and have mulched my entire inner house yard with a thick layer of shredded bark which I hope discourages most of the weeds. It's taken 2 years to get it to a manageable state tho.

Keep at it and don't let those weeds discourage you or win!

I don't know what laws may be in place in your area re: wild plants but if you do transplant make sure you take lots of soil with them as some need specific soil and many don't like to be moved.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 10:57AM
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