Although Japanese Knotweed is edible and useful in many ways, it is also extremely invasive. Once it takes hold of an area, it pushes outgrowth of all other plants and spreads very quickly. Gardeners quickly realize that after a few seasons the only plant that was able to grow in their gardens with the help of japanese knotweed removal. because all other plants had been killed off by this invasive plant.
Note The Conditions For The Plant Growth
The perfect conditions for this plant are sunny, moist areas, including lawns and gardens. Once introduced, it is difficult to curb or control the growth of this plant. All it takes is a small remnant of a root, cut or not cut, to take hold and begin multiplying. Therefore, if you are trying to rid your yard of Japanese Knotweed and putting the cuttings on the curb, then chances are you are spreading the weed instead of killing it off. It will not, however, begin to take over forested areas. For your information, forests are the one place this plant will not get a toe-hold because it needs bright, sunny conditions.
Where it Grows
Japanese Knotweed grows best on land that has been disturbed by human activity. For instance, a lot that has recently been cleared for a building is a perfect breeding ground for this plant. Eradication of this plant is not easy and takes a diligent effort from any person wishing to rid their yard or area of this invasive plant.
Slashing the plant to the ground doesn’t work because it will always grow back due to the strength and vast network of roots. Also, laying concrete over an area where it has been growing doesn’t work. Its roots are strong and shoot plants through the tiny cracks it will find and destroy the concrete. Even rooting and burning is sometimes a futile effort. The only way to get rid of Japanese Knotweed is using a multi-pronged attack over a long period.
How To Destroy The Plant
For starters, buy some large plastic tarps which will be used to cover the area where Japanese Knotweed has first been noticed. Its growth will immediately be impeded because the tarp will smother the plant and stop it from growing and spreading. The plant will push your tarp up, but it can be controlled by simply walking over the tarp as growth is seen. This prevents the plant’s roots from taking hold on the ground and spread over a large area of land. Make sure the tarps overlap and are secured on the seams. Sunlight should not be allowed under the tarp under any circumstances as this will encourage the plant’s growth. Just make sure that the old shoots, which are woody and tough, are cleared before laying the tarp. The old shoots can break through tarps, but the new growing shoots do not.
The second method of attack is focused on weed killers. Weed killers that are effectual on Japanese Knotweed are Round-Up, Gallup and Landmaster to name a few. If the weed killer is applied throughout the growing season, the plant will be unable to grow or create food reserves. Therefore, the strain will be much weaker and unable to spread.
Another method is cutting the plant back throughout the season and then injecting the stumps with weed killer. Be sure to bag all of the cuttings of the plant because it can spread if given a chance.
After the plant’s growth has been hindered, you better dig in the ground where the shoots have been rising from. When you reach the root and shoot system, which most often is around a foot deep, tear them out, being careful to get all of the roots in sight. This method will most likely not be successful the first time and will have to be repeated several times.
There is no one way to eradicate Japanese Knotweed from an area. These eradication methods have to be used in conjunction with one another and if followed through on, will be successful over time.