|Wedelia or creeping oxeye daisy (Sphagneticola trilobata): a beautiful invader.|
Less lawn...When we moved into our house here in North Florida, we let several areas of lawn grow out. I've written about this several times. See From lawn to woods: a retrospective, for what has happened out front.
Here's the other half of the story. Our 1.5 acre lot is long and pie-shaped. Out back is a narrowing strip to the lake. We decided early on that we'd not continue to mow this whole area and just leave a pathway that could be mowed with one trip down and one trip back on the riding mower. The area opens up by the lake, so there is more mowing to do down there.
So this is what happened...
|2007. Vast section of lawn that we let grow out became engulfed by wedelia. Looking back toward the house from the pathway to the lake.|
The gardener strikes back...By 2007, the wedelia, which had been controlled in the lawn by mowing, grew like crazy. So it was time to strike back. I did not want to kill everything in the area, so pulling was the best option. And with some follow-up this has worked pretty well.
|Pulling the wedelia by rolling it up like a rug. Yes, leather gloves were necessary here.|
|2007. A work in progress: pulling the wedelia from the slope next to the shallow ravine between our property and our neighbor's. This photo was taken from approximately the same place as the above photo, but looking toward the lake.|
It didn't take long for the ferns to totally fill in this ravine and slope, which is what I'd hoped for.
|2009. These ferns are lovely for most of the year.
They die back only for a couple of months here.
|The fertile fronds bear a chain of sori that hold the spores.|
|A sprout found on my latest foray.|
|While I'm out hunting for wedelia sprouts, I also removed |
the other big invasive on our property coral ardisia.
I'll cover the transformation of this area in a post later in the year.
For more information on what is invasive in Florida, see the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council Invasive website, which has not only the list of the 76 most invasive plants in Category I and the potentially invasive list in Category II, there are links for most of these invasive plants for more information.
I know that my maintenance removal project will continue because so many of my neighbors continue to grow these plants, but at least our property will become less of a problem going forward.
|Indian blanketflowr (Gaillardia pulchella) and a Cicada killer (Sphecius speciosus)|
Making room for native plants is so important for the heath of our environment.
I'm working on doing my part. Are you?
Green Gardening Matters,Ginny Stibolt