Weekend Gardener

Blog based on my best-selling ebook "The Weekend Gardener"- The Busy Persons' Guide To A Beautiful Backyard Garden by Victor K. Pryles

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

MIlkweed Over All

One Weekend Gardener wrote to tell me that using milkweed to attract butterflies might have been a good idea, but now it has overwhelmed her vegetable plot.

Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), when well established runs deep, eagerly spreading roots and many seeds make it a takeover baron, and since it is so hardy even to 50 degrees below zero, don't count on them being killed off in a freeze.

About all you can do is mow the perimeter of the garden so the nearest milkweed is at least 10 feet away. In the garden itself, pull all shoots as soon as they appear. Wind-sown seedlings won't have a chance to put down strong roots, and although the roots that are already there will keep sending in new plants, depriving them of top growth will eventually starve out the network.

Photo: Milkweed Exploding