Japanese who-zee?

Living where we do, a lot of our property qualifies as an "edge." An "edge" is where the woods meet a field or cleared area. Our front yard, back yard, the side of our driveway, the powerline cut, all of these are "edges".....and "edge" areas are more susceptible to invasive species. The natives just can't compete. These disturbed-from-their-natural-state areas don't grow grass naturally...they would be harboring flowers, ferns and native grasses...on their way to reforming into woods...but we keep them mowed (tick control, house access, and a place to put the veggie garden) which makes them fair game for fast-growing plants (especially given the shady conditions...next to the woods remember). And so, along with Tree of Heaven, which adores such conditions, we find the majority of our grass is, in fact, not grass, but Japanese Stiltgrass. Great for erosion control, if you like to look on the bright side, but quite invasive. And the bane of our vegetable garden this year.

Japanese Stiltgrass, according to the National Park Service website, is also known as Nepalese Browntop. It's considered an annual grass--germinates in the spring, and can get up to 3 feet tall (yep that would be what happened with the veggie garden. It only took 2 weeks and that stuff was TALL.) It gets that tall when it's producing it's flowers, which it does in late summer (excuse me..achoo..).

Japanese Stiltgrass is particularly well-adapted to low-light conditions and deer don't like to eat it...instead they prefer to eat the natives that are already trying to compete with it. Great. Oh, and "Stiltgrass appears to prefer moist, acidic to neutral soils that are high in nitrogen." Yes, you do get that, living in the woods...

So what're we gonna do? Well, we're gonna try and solarize the veggie garden this winter, and remember next year to keep the grass cut shorter---so the danged stuff can't go to seed.....Any other tips?


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