Don’t do it!

For those eagle eyed viewers, you may have noted that Japanese knotweed was on T.V last week on channel 4’s ‘Help my house is falling down!’

The occupier had a small amount of Japanese knotweed probable 1-2 metres squared in total surface growth in your average London terrace back garden. The show had appointed a specialist to come in and provide some advice on the area of infestation.

All the usual information came out…. spreads by fragments of Rhizomes (Roots), illegal to move from site which can lead to prosecution and to ‘poison*’ the plant with herbicide.

Amazingly the good doctor providing the advice then recommended that the material/garden be ‘rotavated’ to stimulate growth the idea being that this provides a greater surface area for herbicide application. What they failed to mention was that your also going to spread active fragments around the whole garden, you miss a single treatment and ‘hello knotweed!’ you’ll potentially go from a small infestation to a garden full.

Now while I don’t dispute the fact it’s great Japanese knotweed is finally being recognised on national television – I do however think that the advice should be very clear.

  • Yes get it treated
  • Keep the material in-situ
  • Inform and get advice from the professional as early as possible
  • Don’t remove anything from site
  • Don’t use DIY treatments as they are weaker and will cost you a small fortune
  • Please, please don’t start hiring rotavators or digging up the stands before professional advice is given.
  • *Poison – refers to the fact it effects the plant only. Glyphosate based treatments are broken down by microbes within the soil/ground and are only  effective upon contact with the active plant these are licensed for use.