Apr 29, 2010

To Weed or Not To Weed: Carolyn Summers Weighs In

Restoring The Web of Life
Carolyn Summers
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.



Antique ART Garden said...

So you mean, do not try to pull them out...simply cut them off ? That's basically what I do when I weed, as I never get the roots. I am supposing you mean CUT and not PULL ? Thanks, Gina

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