Invasive plants are the vegetative evil doers of the plant world. They slyly sneak in and wreak havoc on unsuspecting native plant colonies, displacing, damaging or downright killing our local flora. Such plants are also difficult to control or eradicate – this is the difference between the aggressive invader and a regular non-native plant.
Pesticides work for some invasive plants, and biological controls are researched for others – but the harsh truth is that sometimes the most effective, and only, plant control strategy is manual removal and monitoring. Considering the amount of natural green areas we have in Canada and even naturalised spaces in Ottawa, this equates to the need of an ARMY of weed pullers.
However, since we can’t always work together, even if you pull a garbage bag of weeds alone you are making a difference. Imagine if everyone did that! You are the Weed Ninja who clears the greenspace of Garlic Mustard along your favourite jogging path. A Weed Ninja identifies Dog-Strangling Vine in their child’s playground and eradicates it. When you brush off your dog between runs in natural areas to prevent the transport of weed seed, you are making a difference. You are the Weed Ninja when you educate your neighbours and encourage them to not throw their Periwinkle or Creeping Jenny over the fence.
You are that stealthy force for good, so arm yourself with education, garbage bags and gardening gloves, then go out and HI-YA the heck out of invasive plants!
Join us for a Weed Bee this summer to pitch in as part of the group, or organise your friends and tackle forgotten public lands further afield.