Swallow Wort

Discussion in 'Crops & Gardens' started by Carol Cook, May 27, 2016.

  1. Carol Cook

    Carol Cook Active Member

    Mar 20, 2016
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    A few years ago I began to notice a vine in my front yard landscaping with unusual little pods.. and tiny purple flowers.. I pulled it out, but it kept coming back.. and multiplying. I've learned this is Swallow Wort and is one of the most nasty invasive characters you can get. You cannot get to the roots all you can do is pull off the stems... and the roots travel and send up shoots everywhere.. Anyone have it? Anyone know how to get rid of it?

  2. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    Jan 21, 2015
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    I have never heard of swallow wort before; but when I looked it up, it looks like it is almost as bad a problem in the Northeast as kudzu is in the South.
    I think that if you can keep the top cut back to the ground so that it can't develop into an actual plant, that will help.
    Also, if you can plant another plant that spreads, that you like, then it can start crowding out the swallow wort.

    When I first moved to Idaho, my trailer was put on land that had been used as a loading area when the property was logged ; so it had never had anything except weeds and thistles growing there.
    The cleared-over area where my trailer was had been bulldozed over, and the open ground soon filled in with all sorts of spreading weeds.
    I kept the weeds mowed as fast as they grew, and planted a variety of pasture grass that had grass and clover mixed into it.
    The grass began to grow, and because I kept the weeds from even making any leaves, they could not make any seed, so the grass began to take over the area. It took me a year or two, but I eventually had a yard of lush green grass and clover (which I love walking on).
    If you are able to keep the swallow wort cut down with a mower or weedeater, so it can't grow, then the roots should eventually die off, too. It might not be immediate, but it should stop them from spreading right away, and then they will die.
    Once you cut them down to the roots, you might also try pouring boiling water, or white vinegar water on the root crowns and see if that will kill the roots, too.
    Diane Lane and Ken Anderson like this.
  3. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member

    Jan 25, 2015
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    My go-to remedy for any weed growing in my backyard is the charcoal from our BQ grill. I used it on poison ivy and it worked. Of course I beat it down a little and it doesn't look nice but after the rain hits it you couldn't even tell it was there.
    Yvonne Smith and Diane Lane like this.
  4. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member

    Apr 10, 2015
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    That doesn't look familiar, and I have just about every kind of weed that exists where I live, so I guess it's not an issue here. I try to address my weeds with vinegar as much as possible, but it doesn't always seem to work, so I occasionally resort to chemicals, although I haven't found one yet that works on cleavers, which is my main problem. Perhaps if you look online, you can find one that will address that specific problem, if you don't want to take the long term approach that @Yvonne Smith suggested. Does it die off in the cold Winters? If so, maybe you could deal with it this year, and nip it in the bud next year as soon as it starts coming up.

    @Von Jones I never thought of that. I can't remember what I did with the last batch, whether I tossed it on the side, or actually bagged it up for trash. I'll definitely keep that in mind for my problem next time I barbecue!
  5. K E Gordon

    K E Gordon Very Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2016
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    I have so many weeds I am not even gonna try to get rid of them. All I do is mow them down. I have a feeling if I removed all the weeds, I would have no grass! I have been planting some grass though since I do have a lot of bare spaces. Not enough to look ugly but enough to annoy me. I have a friend who has a wood chipper and I have wanted to make ground cover...but he comes up with all sorts of excuses why he can't bring it down.

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