Sunday, July 12, 2009

Invasive Species or Dinner Side Dish?

We have plenty of poke in our yard. Last year I let it grow out of control, noticed it had red berries and thought maybe something would like to eat it. Then after the winter all these dead branches were left which weren't too visually appealing and not very fun to get rid of. Camera Trap Codger identified it as poke. This spring I decided I would stomp on them so I wouldn't have to remove the branches later on. Well, that got old as the days wore on because they just kept growing back and after finding a deer tick on my toddler, I didn't really feel like traipsing through the pachysandra anymore. I had a vague recollection that my dad said they were edible. So I googled it and found this link. Apparently cooking it up like greens can cause "bad guts". I think I'll pass.
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arenee43 said...

I've never heard of poke, but the word "pachysandra" is very familiar. My grandmother, the one who owned a nursery, used to complain about it all the time. (She would have loved your backyard, by the way.)

Ticks and Lyme Disease are very scary. I guess that's a major drawback of having cute deer in your yard.

Jayla said...

The pachysandra is the low growing ground cover, and the poke is the taller plants, if you didn't already know that. I only like pachysandra when it grows close together so that it's just a bed of green. When it's straggly and doesn't grow as close together, I don't like it very much.

randomtruth said...

Hey Jayla,

I don't know what your philosophy is on using poisons, but mine is basically "never except in extreme conditions," and one of those conditions is poison oak. We've found that carefully spraying Roundup on the leaves will systemically kill it, yet not affect the other plants around, such as the native shrubs and trees and wildflowers.

Your shrubs seem very similar to poison oak, so it's something to think about if you find that whacking and cutting and cursing at 'em just isn't doing it for you anymore. :)


Jayla said...

I haven't used any poisons yet in my yard. I'd probably have to use gallons to get everything under control, and then I'll start finding deformed frogs or something. We do have poison ivy though. It's good to know Roundup doesn't kill other plants nearby. I may have to resort to getting some. Thanks for the tip.