Clearing Native Land of Invasive Non Native Plants


After I bought a house in Mid Missouri that came with 6 acres of native land, I wanted to have it fixed up as soon as possible, but its much harder then I ever imagined. I have been gardening for many years and I have been very successful in California. However, restoring native land in the Midwest is an entirely new and difficult dilemma. I am not willing to poison all the plants with round up or other weed killers. If I wipe out all the plants with round up it will hurt the animals that are already living there. I have rabbits, turtles, frogs, and lizards.

If I am clearing out an area that has weeds, I normally remove all the weeds and allow the weed seeds to germinate. I then remove those weeds before they create seeds. This process should be repeated several times and before applying native seeds. I have not made any progress in spite of working very hard. See this video on my Facebook Page.

I cut away invasive honeysuckle vines strangling the trees.  But, it’s more than just honeysuckle vines, wild grapes and poison ivy also climb up the trees. I cut the vines at the bottom and try to put them off if I can do so without hurting the tree. I cleared away the plants growing near the bases of the trees, but they grow back within few days. I have used weed killer on some of the non native plants, but they are tough and do not die at once. The bush honeysuckles seem to able to survive repeated attempts with roundup. Digging them out is too much work due to the large numbers of bush honeysuckles in almost all part of the property that have direct sun and because of large size of some of them. There are also huge areas of just blackberries that are impossible to walk through.  It is difficult to even clearing enough vegetation to even be able to access the land. In other words there is such much vegetation, poison ivy and ticks that I can’t even begin to start working on some areas of the land. Only in the spring after the snow melts can one access all of the property.

I want to recommend a Website and Youtube Channel called Learn Your Land from Pennsylvania. This channel helps me learn to ID plants.

I can’t create a quail sanctuary although I wanted to do it. There are no quail in the area and its not possible to buy tame quail and release them. Tests showed tame quail all die right away when placed in the wild. If I planted plants that the quail like they may decide to show up, but they like tall grasses. There is no part of the land that is not affected by non native invasives such as Russian Olives. ¬†With summer more than half over, the only process I have been able to make was clearing the untended garden beds near the house and making them ready of planting. But, I still don’t have all of that done yet, because of the weeds are still reseeding. The only plant I managed to help on the land was a wild strawberry. I cleared away the other plants near it and I watered it from the bird bath, but then it developed powdery mildew because it was too wet and not in full sun. Updated: later on the plant proved to be a weed called Geum canadense. Geum canadense is native but its not desirable. There are almost no good native plants on this so called “natural land” untouched for at least 20 years. I failed but I will continue to try and help plants.

Not wild strawberry turned out to be a weed

The best instructions for clearing native land that has become ruined by invasive plants can be found at Prairie Nursery in Wisconsin. There is no physical location for this nursery. According to the guide below it takes years before one can even begin to plant native seeds. If one plants the native seeds without removing the invasive plants the natives will be overwhelmed by the stronger non native invasive plants. Prairie Nursery dot com guide to native habitat restoration free pdf download or read online click here.

Updated: I created a Youtube Video to look at more of the potted plants which can be found here link to Youtube Video

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