Yes, we were getting been a bit obsessed and freaked-out by it.
Yes, we spent time talking to all the happy McGill peoples about getting rid of it.
|Fighting knotweed the WWI way|
And yes, they recently gave us the go ahead to take care of it.
Finally, now we can get down to business. But how do deal with this knotweed.
Some people inject organophosphate herbicides to stop their knotweed, but this practice is polluting, short-sighted, and goes against our permaculture philosophies. There are also no guarantees that this dumb way of controlling knotweed will even be successful.
We looked for sustainable way of controlling the plant, searching on ze internets for guidance as well as consulting our own invasive species specialists at the McGill School of Environment for advice. The consensus among these numerous sources (be they governmental, university, non-profit, our School of Environment, and everyone else in between) of how to "control" and get rid of knotweed is in summary:
- Pull: Pull as much of the stems out as we can over the season, which we painfully did.
- Trench: Dig a trench deep trench beyond the perimeter of the knotweed patch to be sure the roots and rhizomes do not spread.
- Cover: Cover the entire patch with some thick material with high tensile strength to suffocate the knotweed
With the admin's green light and our own knotweed stopping plan, a pack of us came out yesterday and began digging an earthen trench around the knotweed patch with the rest of us getting a truck and a large tarp. The weather on Sunday was warm and humid, with little or no wind where we were. The soil, although loam-like and not too clay-ish, has tonnes of rock in it (maybe literally).