solarizing Japanese Knotweed

sumiblueMay 5, 2010

I inherited a yard that was badly neglected. In an area that I want to have a vegetable patch, there is a big clump of spreading Knotweed. I am planning on using solarization as a method of controlling the noxious weed. From what I've read on solarizing, you want to till the ground to bring any weed seeds up to the surface so that the sun can burn and sterilize them and any full grown weeds. I am very worried about tilling the knotweed, though. I've heard that this is a sure way to spread the weed even more. Does anyone know if I can just lay the plastic over the ground without tilling and still get the desired effect? I am planning on leaving the plastic down and building raised beds on top of it. I have walnut trees nearby so the ground is toxic to vegetables, anyway. I just want the are to be neat and weed free. I plan on putting mulch or stone down over the plastic once the boxes are build.

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Tilling wont spread this pest, it will probably help you a little though. Its not the seeds that you have to worry about, its the roots. This bad boy can sprout from as small a piece of root as 1 inch, and can live underground covered up by plastic for up to 5 years. The knot weed will just come up arround the plastic.

However, It doesnt like lime,it doesnt like to be mown, and it has a hard time comming up through a healthy bed of grass... ( it will try though, if it has no other option).

My recomendation would be to till up your piece of ground, and remove as many of the roots as you possibly can. Then mix large qty's of lime into the soil, and cover with heavy plastic, and build your raised beds. Lime the "infected area" arround your beds, add grass seed, and weed out any emerging shoots with extreem predjiduce! When your grass starts growing, mow it religiously!

Ive successfully gotten rid of it from my yard using this method.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 4:26PM
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