How to get rid of Japanese knotweed – cheapest ways to banish ‘evil’ plant for good

Japanese knotweed: Phil Spencer discusses plant

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Japanese knotweed is a fast-growing plant which is known to invade every part of the garden once established. This aggressive species can be problematic for nearby plants, neighbours, and even the value of your property – so how can you get rid of it for good? Specialist removal is the best course of action to banish Japanese knotweed, but it could cost you upwards of £10,000. Here are the cheapest alternatives to try at home yourself.

How to get rid of Japanese knotweed

Getting rid of Japanese knotweed is no easy task, but it is crucial if you want to protect both the structure and value of your home.

Allowing it to spread beyond your own land and into a neighbouring garden could even land you in an unwanted legal battle, but it can be easily avoided with the right measures.

Gardeners’ World said: “Small clumps of Japanese knotweed are fairly straightforward to manage and can be removed by the home gardener by digging or spraying with weed killer.

“However, we recommend you hire a qualified, professional company to control large clumps.”

Use a glyphosate-based weed killer

Chemical controls can be used to tackle some cases of Japanese knotweed, but patience is key in order for it to work.

Environet, a company specialising in invasive plants said: “Using chemicals purchased from a garden centre or DIY store will rarely be strong enough to kill the underground root system, and will often result in dormancy which means that even if the plant appears to be dead above-ground, the underground rhizome remains very much alive, ready to regrow at any moment.”

For this reason, it is best to complete several applications of a glyphosate-based weed product over a large period of time.

While it will take a while to eradicate the plant completely, it is worth it if you’re looking to avoid costly professional removal charges.

Gardeners’ World recommended using the glyphosate-based weed killer to treat cut canes to ensure the product can “thoroughly penetrate the plant and roots”.

In most cases, glyphosate-treated knotweed will often regrow the following spring, albeit much less vigorously.

It is important to administer a second application to this growth in order to completely kill off the stubborn weed.

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Remove the leaves as soon as they appear

Getting to the root of the weed is the best way to prevent root regeneration, but it can take several years to be effective.

This method is best used on smaller areas of knotweed growth, though it will work eventually on more widespread plants.

The key to stopping the plant from growing is to gradually weaken the growth by removing all leaves as soon as they grow.

According to Gardeners’ World, this stops the plant photosynthesising and therefore makes fresh growth unable to surface on your property.

Dig the plant up from the root

If the knotweed is growing from your neighbour’s garden, the best thing to do is to dig a deep trench on the boundary.

Speaking to the Independent, the Royal Horticultural Society’s chief horticultural adviser, Guy Barter said; “It’s evil stuff. It’s a lot of work and not feasible if there’s a vast infestation, but you can dig it out with a spade.”

Use a sharp trowel or spade to dig the trench along the affected boundary line and line it with a strong root barrier.

He added: “Because it’s classified as ‘controlled waste’, you can’t let any plant material leave the garden.

“So stack it up to dry on plastic or concrete and then burn it. Or put it in rubble bags and leave it to die for a few years to be sure.”

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