Apr 29, 2010
Restoring The Web of Life
New York Horticultural Society
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Tuesday night I was exhausted and I thought about skipping Carolyn Summers talk about native plants. I doubted one more blah blah would make a difference. I was wrong.
Summers made the case for native plants. I am not going to repeat all the reasons for planting regional species and how plants and insects are interconnected. Nor am I going to make the case for how native plants can be used in an ornamental way.
I wanted to know about weeding, specifically about weeding out invasive species. For the last couple of years, I have worked on two wetland areas: saltwater and freshwater. Planted with over 100,000 grasses, natives, and trees, these two wetlands are filled with more invasives than plants. The theory: natives crowd out the invasives over time. In fact, Summers said that once natives take hold the root systems are so strong and tight; that is hard to even add an additional plant.
In the beginning we tried to apply this theory, but it became apparent that the invasives were winning out. Summers solution: DO NOT WEED. Keep cutting down the weeds. By depriving a plant of its ability to photosynthesize, the plant eventually will die.
I am going to hang up my hori hori. Take out my pruners and watch what happens.