Invasive Landscaping

15 05 2012

I like making gardening easy. That includes plants that are simple to grow. But some plants are a little too easy.

For example, I am growing three kinds of mint in my yard. I never planted any, but they sure keep growing. They crept under the fence from neighbors yards. They must be looking for rum. Pitcher of mojitos, anybody? Maybe not. The mojito was Ernest Hemingway’s favorite drink, and we all know how things turned out for him. <gasp>

Mint invasion from the neighbors

What’s the story, Morning Glory? What’s with the nasty root system and vines that choke out other plants? I never planted them but they managed to trash more than one garden bed.

I had challenges with varieties that I put in the ground, too. Oregano is great in Greek dishes. Vegetation killer is great for removing the Oregano that established itself in the middle of the turf in the back yard. That was one of the few times I was willing to use poison on the lawn. And I’d do it again in a similar situation.

Knowing the risks of invasive plants, it is important to plan ahead and prevent disaster. Here are a few tips to keep your plants, and yourself, happy.

Plant it in a pot (Then plant the pot in the ground)

The pot will keep the plant in check, and the clean border will make the garden look neater.

Oregano in a planted pot

Use plant fabric or garden barrier

Just make sure the barrier is deep and strong enough, or it may not work.

 

A 2×4 board will not stop raspberries from spreading

Pick the flowers, watch out for seeds

Chives can spread far and wide when they go to seed. So can mint. Bonus tip: Let some parsley and cilantro go completely to seed, and it will self-sow for the next season

Mow it down

Patches of Raspberries, Lilly of the Valley, Day Lilies can be kept in check with mowing around the edges on a regular schedule.

Some of these invaders can be a great addition to the garden. Just don’t let them conquer your yard.

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