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What Is the Best Way to Get Rid of Invasive Plants?


Question: What Is the Best Way to Get Rid of Invasive Plants?
Reader, Mary Jane writes, "What is the best way to get rid of invasive plants?"

The "best" way to get rid of an invasive plant will depend, in part, on your own preferences. Do you wish to stay organic? Then the "best" way for you to get rid of invasive plants will probably entail more work than it would for those willing to use chemical herbicides. For many people, remaining true to their organic landscaping principles is more important than getting rid of invasive plants quickly, and they will gladly take on the extra work.

If you opt to go the chemical herbicide route, read what's written on their packages before buying. Some will say that they're specifically for "woody" plants (e.g., Ortho's Brush-B-Gon). Glyphosate is a very popular chemical herbicide (sold under the brand name, Roundup). It is non-selective, meaning it will kill just about anything -- including your ornamental plants (so be careful!).

Because products such as Roundup are non-selective, the "best" way to get rid of an invasive plant sometimes comes down to circumstances. For example, if you wish to use Roundup on Japanese knotweed poking through your lawn, you may wish to use the herbicide injection method. That way, you can control the Roundup so that it doesn't end up on your grass, killing it.

If you'd rather stay organic, try using vinegar as an herbicide. Vinegar won't work on everything. If vinegar doesn't work on a particular plant, try another method to get rid of it. Staying organic is all about experimenting.

Speaking of experimenting, some may opt for a multi-pronged approach, trying a little of this and a little of that. An example would be how I tackled my own Japanese knotweed problem.

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