Japanese knotweed is one of the most challenging invasive plants to eradicate, even for professional gardeners. Its dense thickets choke out native species, impede drainage and erosion control, and block access to paved surfaces. The plant is also an eyesore, especially in a landscape with many native trees and shrubs. Thankfully, it can be eradicated with persistence and some serious elbow grease.

The first step in japanese knotweed removal is to dig out the rhizomes (the creeping underground stems that send up shoots) to discourage new growth. This is a time-consuming and laborious process that can require as much as a whole growing season to fully eradicate the plant. Be sure to carefully locate the rhizomes, dig them out completely without cutting or shredding them, and bag them for disposal. Then, be vigilant in monitoring for any signs of regrowth and keep up the effort during the following seasons.

The Ultimate Guide to Japanese Knotweed Removal

Covering the area with a thick covering during the growing season, such as wood chips or mulch, suppresses the plant by depriving it of sunlight that it needs to photosynthesize and grow. The covering should be weighted down with rocks or carpet scraps to prevent it from blowing away. This method should be used in conjunction with other eradication methods.

Be aware that under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, it is illegal to allow Japanese knotweed to spread from your property onto neighboring land. Be sure to declare any Japanese knotweed on your property before selling it, and provide a management plan for its eradication.

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