|I'd already cut the largest stems of the asparagus fern, some of which were easily 6 feet in length, when I took this photo|
One of my new year's resolutions was to address each of my problem areas and, somewhat to my own surprise, cutting back the rampant Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' led me to try digging it up. I say "try" as getting rid of a plant like this that has had years, or more probably decades, to spread is difficult to say the least. (You can find guidance on the steps required to eradicate it here.) I didn't plant this one, or any of the others spread throughout our property. They came with the house. I spent several days digging, a couple hours at a time.
|I dug down about a foot, working small sections one at a time|
|The photo on the left is a close-up of the tuber-like nodules attached to the plant's roots. I filled about 10 large trugs like the one on the right. Each trug was so heavy I could barely carry it to the trash.|
I dug out an area about 10 feet long and 2 to 3 feet wide. In addition to removing the tuber-like nodules attached to the roots, I tried to pick up all the berries I saw as each one is capable of forming a new plant.
|After I cleared the area, I added topsoil I had on hand from an earlier project and dug in planting mix|
I've no illusions that I got all of it. For one thing, the roots have reached under the paving stones into a succulent bed beyond, as well as underneath the pots positioned below the Ceanothus hedge. They also may have mingled with the similar tuber-like roots of the Agapanthus planted in the same border. They even wrapped themselves around the irrigation pipes and I found some attached to the base of the mimosa tree. Ugh!
|This succulent bed is a mess in itself, especially as it was stomped on during the recent tree-trimming exercise. I may end up digging it up too sometime this year, in which case I'll have another go in battling the asparagus fern.|
All I can hope is that I've slowed the fern's progress. Whenever the plants pop up, which they do regularly in nearly every corner of the garden, I pull up the foliage and as much of the roots as I can get without damaging nearby plants. My next question is what to plant in the empty space. As there's a good chance the mimosa tree towering above won't last more than a few more years, I don't want to plant anything too precious as taking down the tree will damage anything in the surrounding area. I'm leaning toward a low-growing groundcover of some kind but I'd like something tall enough to obscure the mimosa's "wound." I could put another large pot there I suppose. Any ideas?
Lest you think I spent the rest of the holiday period eating bon-bons, here's a photo of another project I tackled as the year was coming to an end.
|This is what the 2 vines and the Trachelospermum on the right looked like last June. With any luck, they'll look as good in the summer of 2019.|
There's plenty more ugliness to tackle! However, we've got family in town so I'm going to take a short break. I need it - every muscle I've got is aching at the moment.
All material © 2012-2019 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party