not knotweed

This is knotweed. Very small right now, very easy to break off from the knot, the root. From any tiny fragment, it can grow a new plant. These plants grow to – 6 -10 (more?) feet tall and its roots go as deep. Once it’s established, spreading in thick stands, it’s extremely difficult to eliminate. Knotweed is all over England and spreading fast in the US. What it loves is any soil that’s been disturbed by man.

Knotweed came to my property when I needed my road redone several years ago. With the new gravel came the intruder, somehow borne in with the dirt and sand. That spring, it sprouted, so fragile at first. And so impossible immediately. At first I just weeded it, not realizing that the knot at the root was the key. Now, it’s an ongoing mission: I monitor it constantly. I want to catch it early and pull it all up, including that root knot, which is very loosely attached. I can get it most, but not ALL of the time. I have a garbage bag already 1/2 filled with what I have pulled out this year.

How do I feel when I see, even a tiny leaf of knotweed invading my space? My response: “NO! You can’t grow here. You are not welcome. I will not tolerate your existence!” It’s not welcome. What knotweed wants to do: to take over. Once it gets a grip, it dominates the terrain and makes it impossible for native plants to exist. To that, I say “NO!”

And don’t I see this same force, this same defined response in other areas? I do: NO, that color does not work here. NO, I can’t tolerate that transition in color over there. NO, this is not going to slip past me – mark what I am noticing, “clean it up”.

All this happens in small steps. Catch the knotweed early. Watch the color as it’s happening.

Guided by the NO.