The flowers that we planted last May are beginning to open up on the Water Street Prairie. They aren’t quite as plentiful as we’d hoped, which we attribute to the poor quality of the soil, and the continued presence of invasive species like Spotted Knapweed, but the native plants that we reintroduced to the site are trying to fight their way back, and we’re trying, to the best of our ability, to help them get a foothold. (The Black-eyed Susans seem to be doing particularly well.)
As I mentioned a week or so ago, a small crew of us have been busting our asses on Knapweed eradication, but we’re having a difficult time staying ahead of it, which is why I’m writing to you today.
As you may recall from our earlier conversations, not only does Knapweed spread incredibly easily, but, as it tastes terrible, few herbivores want to eat it. Even worse, it has an unusually long tap root, which aggressively sucks water from its neighboring plants, destining them for failure. And, as if that weren’t enough, it’s also thought to be allelopathic, meaning that it releases a toxin from its roots that slows the growth of nearby plants competing for resources.
With all of this in mind, I’d like to ask you to join us in our quest to stay ahead of the Knapweed. Here, with details on how to identify and remove Spotted Knapweed, is little video I shot a few days ago with my friend Jeff Clark. Hopefully, once you see it, you’ll be compelled to grab a shovel, walk down the street, and put in an hour or so for a good cause… Believe me when I tell you that you’ll feel awesome while you’re out there. Not only is it a magical kind of place, but it just feels good to be doing something positive for your community.