Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Battle on

*roots - common milkweed*
The milkweed war continues.  It's time to tuck in the beds, but before mulching the ring, I had to dig up as many of those &%$ common milkweed (asclepia syriaca) roots as I could.  Didn't want those invasives gathering forces over winter!

*July -first strike*
Though I'd been spraying all sprouts with herbicide ever since I pulled the plants back in July, you sure can't believe the label: kills the roots.  Ha! No killing here.  

I dug down as deep as I could with the fork, loosened the soil, then extracted what I could.  These things were everywhere.  It wasn't uncommon to pull laterals snaking way out into the lawn.  As for the taps, well, I got maybe 12-14" but after that they snapped off, leaving the rest down to China.

I want to plant in those 2 ring arcs - tomatoes in one, perhaps asters in the other.  But I'm leery.  I guess I'll just have to see what springs up next year.  Dang it.  And to think I brought this on myself thinking common milkweed was a good forage plant for the bees.  Live and learn...  

At least I can warn you guys!
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  1. Won't the milkweed be eventually covered by snow and die off? I guess not or you wouldn't be taking so much trouble. I am battling with my lawn. It creeps everywhere. We have no winter to slow it down.

  2. I feel for you there, my battle is with the insidious thug, English Ivy "shudder".

  3. One - common milkweed is a sturdy perennial and is not easily dissuaded from taking over. Those thick roots store lots of nutrients so they thrive in the most adverse conditions (freeze, drought, herbicide bath, etc.) And winter doesn't slow down our grass at all. It just goes dormant.

    Scott - I hear you. Love the effect, hate the plant. I'd rather have pachysandra or myrtle for ground cover. At least they don't climb...

  4. Sounds like my never-ending battle with Bermuda grass.

  5. I once had to dig up an entire bed to pull out pink oenathera (sundrops) roots. They were weedy and suffocated every thing. Ugh!

  6. You can have my pachysandra. Really, I can dig a bunch up or you can come over and take all you want. I have ligularia plants also. I'm attempting to grow swamp milkweed and marsh marigold in a soggy part of the yard. i did not realize that milkweed is invasive. jim

  7. Kris, natives are that because they are tough, grow anywhere plants! I moved some native white achillea from our field to the garden once.....serious mistake. Same with a native verbena that looks wonderful growing in the ditches...not in flower beds.

    It took me about three years to get rid of both!

    Now I have that danged white snakeroot!

  8. Ilene - good luck with that!

    TS - yep, I've done battle with sundrops at my last house. They sure were pretty, then became pretty awful!

    Jim - hey - that pachysandra, I'm tempted, man. Really tempted...! It's the COMMON milkweed that is nasty. I've found the 'ice ballet' and swamp milkweed are a nice, well behaved plant and do well in full sun with little rain. The bees LOVE them!

    Glenda - I hear you. I do have a clump of tall boneset which I believe is white snakeroot. I think it will be controlled here, but I imagine it is a real problem for you since I read that it can make the milk toxic when cows eat it. Be careful....


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