It’s that time of year when most invasive plants are starting to flower. Now is the time to take another look for patches of invasive plants that you may have missed earlier in the season. While you are busy manually removing invasive plants on your property, it’s important to think about how to dispose these plants. Disposal can play a large role in whether or not you gain success with your invasive plant management efforts. While many homeowners have a compost or a burn pile for disposing of invasive plant species, these two methods may actually make your invasive plant situation worse!
If you choose to compost invasive plants, keep in mind that their plant parts and seeds can survive the composting process. If you spread compost containing invasive plants in your garden or flower boxes, you may be spreading invasive plant parts and seeds and providing them extra nutrients; this is an excellent combination to encourage invasive plant establishment and spread. If you decide to compost your invasive plants, consider composting them before they are in flower or have set seed. You should also consider drying the invasive plants prior to putting them in the compost; this will help prevent living plant parts (i.e. seeds and rhizomes) from re-establishing and taking root in your compost.
Did you know that all TNRD residents and residents of select municipalities (Clearwater, Sun Peaks, Logan Lake, Merritt and Clinton) are eligible to participate in the TNRD Invasive Plant Program Services? This includes rebate programs for invasive plant management, free equipment loan-out and free land consultations.
Dr. Catherine Tarasoff, PhD. P.Ag.
Thompson Rivers University