If you have a lovely garden full of vibrant plants and flowers, you would probably understand the painstaking process of keeping invasive plants under control. These plants grow out of nowhere and spread like wildfire with in no time. They start competing for resources and eventually ends up displacing your beloved plants.
While most people rely on chemical control of invasive species to get quick and effective results, others stick to the age-old organic methods for the same, keeping in mind the long-term effects of using pesticides and chemicals. Hence, they would not mind putting some extra time and efforts in the process. Apart from these, there are also simple manual methods that you may choose.
So, let's have a look at all the methods that you can resort to for controlling and managing these invasive species:
Before using chemicals ramp up your knowledge about the methods, and the effects that it could have on your plants. Chemicals are highly selective in their action while some affect all the plants in your area others only affect a few. Also, consider various parameters such as, the presence of animals or water bodies in the vicinity, and the weather conditions.
Triclopyr and Glyphosate are the most commonly used herbicides. Apply them on the leaves of your pants and they will do the job. Some of the most invasive plant species have waxy leaves, in such cases you'll have to apply a chemical known as surfactant prior to the herbicide application. However, the effectiveness of these chemicals largely depends on the growth stage of the plants, the temperature and also the quality of the soil.
Organic or biological control:
Biological removal of invasive plant species involves the use of live organisms. Yes, you heard that right! However, it is a long-term approach. and you have to be patient. It might take several months or even years to get the desired result. Depending upon the magnitude of infestation you may use as many control agents. These will gradually abate the competitive ability of the invasive plants. As it is a slow process, you may also use other suitable methods in conjunction with the biological agents.
Another approach is the use of biological herbicides. This uses native pathogens to destroy the invasive species. The pathogen used for this is mostly fungi, however, other organisms such has bacteria, insects and nematodes are also used. Just spray the pathogen culture over the infested area and it will start acting immediately.
Plucking and digging: This is the simplest and safest method you can choose to stop the invasive plants from spreading. It depends upon the denseness of the same in your land. If they are few in number you can manually pick them with your hands. Also, when young weeds are dug out in the initial stage, they lose the ability to reproduce which will greatly decline it's their population.
Mulching: Though most of the plants are already mulched, an additional layer of organic matter can greatly inhibit the growth of invasive plants. You can include woodchips, bark, cardboard, newspaper, compost, grass clippings, or straws in the mulch.
Don't leave space for them: Take up all the available space, so that there is no room for the weeds. Try planting thick ground covers. The heavy roots and shades of the trees can inhibit the growth of invasive plants to a large extent.
Avoid over watering: Remember when you are watering your plants, you are also watering the undesirable weeds. So do not over water, because then you are helping the weeds to grow!
Solarization: This is nothing but baking the weeds to death. Place a heavy plastic sheet over them and leave it for a few weeks. This works best in full Sun; the sheet will get sufficiently heated to kill the weeds.
Faux Replacements: A Novel idea to save your exotic plants and flowers
You might have heard of faux plants or artificial plants as they are popularly known. These are imitations of natural plants used for commercial as well as residential decoration purposes. However, you may not be familiar with the fact that these can be used to save your plants from invasive species, Yes, you heard that right!
Install these faux replacements and you will not have to worry about losing your beloved exotic plants.
These are available in various styles and sizes to suit your aesthetic preferences and diverse requirements:
Planters and stands
Benefits of faux plants:
While live plants shed leaves and flowers, these remain absolutely fresh throughout the year.
You do not have to worry about maintenance as in the case of live plants, as these don't need water or light.
The materials used in the making of faux plants are of superior quality, which makes them tough and long-lasting.
Unlike live plants these are portable and can be carried anywhere.
Cleaning up these plants is super easy, all you have to do is some light dusting occasionally.
Lastly, though no amount of technology can beat the natural plants and its splendor, faux plants take you almost near to it!
So, these were some methods you could use to save your beloved plants from the clutches of invasive species. Next time you spot a weed in your nursery or garden, don't panic for now you know all the best possible remedies for the same! Your plants can also heave a sigh of relief from the intermittent attacks of the alien species!