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Mount Fuji and a pagoda in Japan

Japanese knotweed causes a lot of problems here in the UK. It grows very quickly, it's difficult to get rid of, and it can cause structural damage by growing through small cracks in buildings. Properties with Japanese knotweed are difficult to sell, and worst of all, if you allow this invasive species to spread, you can be fined or sent to prison.

Still, if Japanese knotweed is capable of making life so difficult for us Brits, just think of how much chaos the plant must cause back home in its native Japan! Right?

Well, actually, no - Japanese knotweed isn't a big problem in Japan at all. Over there, it's just another plant.

 

Why isn't Japanese knotweed a problem in Japan?

Japan's ecosystem is very different to that of Great Britain. The plant's native habitat is far better equipped to keep it under control; in Japan, knotweed has to compete with lots of other plants for dominance, whereas UK plant species can't really give it any trouble.

More importantly, though, Japanese knotweed has natural predators in Japan - predators that don't really exist in this part of the world. As we discussed in our What Eats Japanese Knotweed? blog, Japan is home to both insects and fungi that attack Japanese knotweed and prevent it from wreaking the kind of havoc it's known for here.

 

Could we introduce those predators to the UK?

Well, maybe. Chelsea Flower Show experts have discussed using the aforementioned insects and fungi to combat the UK's knotweed problem, and it's possible that the idea could have some legs.

But Japanese knotweed itself is a great example of the damage that can occur when a non-native species is introduced to a different country. A plant that's considered relatively innocuous in Japan has caused all kinds of chaos since it made it to our shores - who's to say that welcoming a foreign fungus or insect species to the UK won't have even worse repercussions?

It's not the sort of thing you want to rush into, so for now, herbicides and excavation remain the safest ways to get rid of Japanese knotweed. If you've found this invasive species on your property, call Taylor Total Weed Control on 029 2039 7554 today to arrange a free Japanese knotweed survey.

Contact Taylor Total Weed Control

Lawn with dandelions and other weeds

So your lawn is looking a little crowded these days. Dandelions, hairy bittercress and a selection of other common lawn weeds have made your garden their home, and your lovely green grass must now compete with all sorts of other plants for water and essential nutrients.

Clearly, some anti-weed measures are in order. But how do you kill those pesky weeds without killing your grass too?

If you don't want your lawn to get caught in the weed control crossfire, here's some expert advice from the Taylor Total Weed Control team...

 

Pulling up weeds (no herbicide necessary)

Removing weeds by hand is an obvious choice if you're looking for a lawn-friendly weed control solution. Grab those dandelions and yank them out of the ground - now they're gone, and the surrounding grass should be more or less unscathed.

The problem with this approach is that it's all too easy to leave the job half done. Dandelions are a textbook example - they tend to have a very long tap root that extends far, far down into the soil, so if you're pulling your dandelions out of the ground by hand, you need to be thorough and make sure the entire plant (including the root) is out.

Failure to remove the whole plant can result in a new one growing back in its place. So make sure you do it properly if you're going to do it at all!

 

Weed killers (herbicides)

If pulling up your weeds manually sounds too much like hard work, don't fret - there are plenty of weed killer products that will take care of your weed problem without damaging your grass.

Remember, there are several different types of weed killer. You need to look for a selective weed killer that specifically targets the type(s) of weed you're dealing with.

Learn More: Types of Weed Killer

If you're worried about killing your grass and you'd rather leave your lawn's weed control to the professionals, Taylor Total Weed Control can help. Our experienced operatives are qualified to tackle a wide range of garden weeds (including Japanese knotweed) - give us a call on 029 2039 7554 to arrange your free weed survey.

Contact Taylor Total Weed Control

Photo from Pixabay

Japanese knotweed stems

COVID-19 (coronavirus) remains the UK's public enemy number one, and while lockdown measures have started to relax in England, they're still in full effect here in Wales. The Welsh government are currently advising people to:

  • Stay at home
  • Go out for food, work and health reasons only
  • Work from home if possible
  • Stay 2 metres from other people
  • Wash your hands immediately when you get home

If you have a garden, it's probably getting a lot of use right now - after all, spring is in the air, and if you want to enjoy the longer days and get a bit of fresh air, your own back garden is the safest place to do so!

But what if, while you're soaking up the sunshine, you spot Japanese knotweed shoots emerging from your soil?

 

Can I do anything about Japanese knotweed during lockdown?

The good news is that contractors like Taylor Total Weed Control can still provide a full Japanese knotweed removal service while the coronavirus lockdown rules are in place.

Our specialists are able to conduct surveys, confirm the presence of Japanese knotweed, and carry out treatment / excavation as normal - all while following the government's two-metre social distancing guidelines.

Summer will be here shortly, and as we explained in our recent When Does Japanese Knotweed Grow? blog, that's when knotweed enters its most aggressive period of growth. So if you suspect there may be Japanese knotweed in your garden, it's important to take action ASAP - call Taylor Total Weed Control on 029 2039 7554 to arrange a free survey!

Contact Taylor Total Weed Control

Photo by Scottish Invasive Species Initiative (Flickr)

Japanese knotweed growing

Japanese knotweed has a reputation for rapid growth, but this invasive plant's growth rate does peak and trough over the course of a year.

The growing cycle can vary somewhat depending on what the weather's doing, but there is a reasonably consistent annual pattern. Here's a rough timeline of Japanese knotweed's growing behaviour from one season to the next.

More...

For reasons discussed in our DIY Japanese Knotweed Removal blog post, we DO NOT RECOMMEND attempting to get rid of Japanese knotweed on your own. Instead, get in touch with a specialist contractor who knows how to deal with this invasive species and ensure that it does not spread elsewhere.

How to kill Japanese knotweed

Photo by dankogreen (Flickr)

Broadly speaking, there are two ways to kill Japanese knotweed:

  • Herbicides - spraying the plant with weed killer

  • Excavation - digging the plant up and either burying it or safely disposing of it at an approved landfill site

More...