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Japanese knotweed in the garden

If you've been unlucky enough to find Japanese knotweed growing in your back garden, your first question may well be something along the lines of...

"How did THAT get there?!"

Unfortunately, Japanese knotweed has a knack for appearing as if from nowhere. This invasive plant is like a bad party guest - it usually shows up uninvited, and once it's made itself comfortable, it's very difficult to get rid of.

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There's a lot of information online that could lead you to believe Japanese knotweed is some kind of 'super-plant' with incredible strength and an appetite for destruction, but this simply isn't the case. Japanese knotweed is similar to other plants in a lot of ways. It grows like other plants, looks like other plants and can be harmless if it's dealt with quickly.

So why do we worry about Japanese knotweed so much? Well, while Japanese knotweed is not a fearsome beast in its own right, it can certainly cause a lot of problems if it's left untreated. Let's take a look at some of the issues Japanese knotweed can cause in more detail to establish whether Japanese knotweed is as bad as they say it is...

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Japanese knotweed research

A research study conducted at the National University of Ireland, Galway has highlighted a new way to tackle Japanese knotweed infestations. In the study, researchers discovered that incorrect application of herbicides was ineffective at controlling and stopping the spread of the invasive weed - however if you can remove all moisture from the offending plant material you can return it to the soil without the risk of it rearing its head later down the line.

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Japanese knotweed removal

When it comes to getting rid of Japanese knotweed, there are a few different avenues you can explore. Here at Taylor Total Weed Control, we offer a range of different Japanese knotweed plans, including herbicide treatments and excavation. Lots of people come to us and ask whether there's a difference between Japanese knotweed control and Japanese knotweed removal, and the answer is yes!

In this blog, we're going to explain the difference between removal and control so that you can decide which method is right for you.

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Spraying plants with herbicide

SHORT ANSWER: Most commercially-available herbicides are ineffective when used on Japanese knotweed. Appropriate herbicides are required to get this invasive plant properly under control.

Japanese knotweed can be dealt with in several different ways, but treating the plant with herbicide is the most-used method. Herbicide application is less disruptive than excavation (which involves digging the plant up and either disposing of it at an approved landfill site or burying it in a geotextile membrane), and it's far more cost-effective as well. In general, we only recommend excavation when time is limited, e.g. when Japanese knotweed needs to be cleared ASAP so that a property sale can be finalised or so that building work can go ahead. Many sites are not suitable for excavation at all.

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