Amber waves
Saturday April 17th 2021, 10:17 pm
Filed under: Friends,Garden

Mexican Feather grass, as near as my googling skills can decipher it, is what the neighbors added when they relandscaped a few years ago; they had this clump that waved in the wind.

A year or two later they had five of them in a line as the breezes blow, quite a bit taller now, and then there was one that jumped the fence and was growing right in front of my pomegranate tree, shading out the bottom half somewhat. I debated what to do with it; it was allegedly pretty to some. Not my thing, but not bad.

In retrospect, I should have cut it down immediately. Note that the neighbors finally took out all of theirs this past winter. Mine had become a clump about ten or twelve inches across so dense in there that a bug I watched couldn’t crawl between the stalks till I’d cut open a path for it, with the inner circle dried, tall, and ferociously flammable-looking.

So I decided that today was the day and it had to go, all of it.

It defied my loppers (I need to replace them) so I used them to hold on tight and twist twist twist and that got small clumps to come away all at once. I spent about an hour at it.

The Australians consider it a dire threat and are trying to stomp out every single plant that might yet come up. Someone had mislabeled an import.

Green new stalks on the outside. It seemed like slightly sticky thick 3′ tall grass, jointed here and there. Right?

I wish I’d found that Australian link first. It seemed fine but when I went to pick the clumps up to throw it in the bin my hands running down some of the stalks got cut open fairly deep. I didn’t even realize immediately that yes, it was those stalks that bit me, not something mixed up in them–it hadn’t occurred to me that I was going to need gloves. I hadn’t ever before, but then I hadn’t ever actually touched the stuff much other than to push it out of the way so I could pick a pomegranate.

That single invasive plant filled the whole yard trimmings bin, which is about twice the size of our trashcan. I did not get the bottom of the clump out and I think it would take a stump grinder. I would spray it with vinegar to kill it off if it weren’t so close to my fruit tree.

I tried to get every seed poof floating away but you know I missed some somewhere. But at least I stopped the tens of thousands that the growing season would have produced.

The neighbors don’t know it snuck over the fence. I think we’ll leave it at that.

7 Comments so far
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Wow! That’s scary!

Comment by Jayleen Hatmaker 04.18.21 @ 6:49 am

Oh, invasives can be a bear! Best of luck to you.

Comment by ccr in MA 04.18.21 @ 8:41 am

If you have a kettle for boiling water, here is an easy trick. You boil water. (Mine is plugged into the wall and takes just a couple minutes.). Then take all that very hot boiling water outside, carefully, and dump it on the plant you want to die. I have had success with this but obviously you need to aim carefully to get it just on the invasive and not your other plants or your feet…

Comment by Joanne 04.18.21 @ 9:20 am

Ouch! I hope your hands heal quickly, that sounds worrisome. I second the boiling water, pouring straight from the kettle, so you can aim right the the invader. Maybe give a good watering to the pomegranate first, so it’s roots aren’t looking for any moisture.

Comment by DebbieR 04.18.21 @ 10:36 am

I’m right in there with the boiling water. Be careful. Wear gloves or oven mitts and make sure your feet are covered. Might be something you want Richard to do. (Just thinking of your balance.)

we have a trick for spraying poison ivy. Might work here but maybe too close to the pomegranate. Hot water with a good glug of vinegar and a couple of good squirts of liquid Sunlight dish detergent. (Has to be Sunlight brand, not sure why, but other brands did not work as well.) stir around a bit to mix well. We would spray it on the ivy leaves, but in this case pour on the roots. Repeat a couple of times if needed.
Hope your hands heal quickly. Sharp cuts are a real ouch!

Comment by Chris+S+in+Canada 04.18.21 @ 4:19 pm

The grass cuts on my hand salutes the many grass cuts on your hands.

(Nothing imported–just trying to pull grass out of the flower gardens.)

Comment by LauraN 04.18.21 @ 4:25 pm

My battle has been loropetalum, which I planted because I saw it in another yard and thought it would look pretty. Well it never really performed as advertised and took up soooo much room. It died in the below 0 degrees we had this winter. No loss, but still how to get rid of the mass. My tree guys were here today to feed trees today and I asked if they would cut the two bushes off/get them out. So they got both of them hacked to the ground and carried away. I’ll live with the short 3 inch stumps.

Comment by Helen Mathey-Horn 04.19.21 @ 10:24 pm

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