Last week, February 26th to March 5th was Invasive species Awareness Week. During the week we found out about the organization in Ontario dedicated to helping people learn about the plants that are not native to our region and therefore have no natural controls to their spreading in our eco systems. We also found out about their companion organization with the wonderful name: Grow Me Instead! Isabelle took a look through their pamphlets (available for download on their websites), and below you’ll read what she recognized in her own pastures and ditches, and the plants she plans to introduce in the spring to help control these invaders!
A natural daisy that will grow well in the pastures and help keep invasive plants at bay is Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta).
Some already grow along the ditches and we can add more.
You can be burned when you cut them. Every year we (along with the municipality) work to cut them down before they flower, We have been trying to eradicate them!
Also along our ditches, we have some cattails but I can’t say which species they are and whether or not they are ones we should keep. I will check them when they start to grow this spring/summer.
On the farm we already have some good plants! I think we have some flowering raspberries (Rubus odoratus) and some Jackman Clematis (Clematis x jackmanii).
The Clematis are gorgeous vines covered in beautiful blossoms!
For sure I recognize one invasive plant I have, and the goats hate it !
Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea, a creeper in the mint family) is growing well in my lawns, garden and in some parts of my pastures!!
I always try to find solutions other than spraying them with pesticides.
I saw that clover competes very well with them, and if I don’t put goats in this pasture for a while, the clover will win! If the goats walk too much on the ground ivy it grows stronger and will continue to take over the pasture!
In the spring and summer Isabelle will be using her new references to check through the pastures, forest and along the ditches around her property. We’ll keep you up to date with the plants she discovers, and how the plants she “Grows Instead” do as they establish themselves and battle with the unwanted invaders!