Green Dragon Pub

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We’ve Got Knotweed Problems!

Claire Bowman

The pub garden will be closed for the next few months as we deal with a rather nasty infestation of Japanese Knotweed!

For those of you who are unaware, Japanese knotweed is one the UK’s most damaging invasive species. If left unchecked, this bamboo-like plant can grow at an alarming rate of 60cm a week during the Summer, but worse of all it has the potential to cost us a massive amount of money if it spreads into our neighbours’ land.

We have to thank one of our smokers for tipping us off about this particularly nasty plant. Jerry has been our regular smoker here at the Green Dragon for nearly as long as the pub’s been here and whilst we can’t support his choice of habit, we are very grateful for him having spotted the shoots popping up through the cracks in our patio outside. Our pub garden is one of our major selling points during the Summer, so it’s really important that we get this problem sorted out before the weather starts to pick up and the Knotweed starts to grow even more!

After confirming that what we were dealing with was indeed Japanese Knotweed, we hit the books (for ‘books’ read the internet) and discovered more about our new horticultural foe. Pay attention to the following facts as we’re considering adding a special Knotweed round to our Pub Quiz and you may be in line to win a platter of our brand new Nachos!

After consulting some Japanese Knotweed legal specialists we were able to glean the following information and strongly suggest that you check your own gardens, as this is a fast-growing (and expensive!) problem that only gets worse if left to its own devices.

Japanese Knotweed was originally brought over from (you guessed it!) Japan during the Victorian era. Those smarty pants Victorians thought that this study looking plant could be rather useful back in the UK, so they took a few scraps back to see what they could do with it. As it turns out, a few scraps is all they really needed as the plant proved to be incredibly hardy and capable of reproducing itself without normal reproductive methods.

The simple (and rather frightening) reason why Japanese Knotweed has proved to be such a hardy enemy to gardeners since its introduction in Victorian times is that it can clone itself many times over, from a single fragment to an unwieldy mass that can be a real hassle to get rid of. If you opt to hack it to pieces with a machete it’s likely that you’ll spray these ‘rhizome’ fragments all over your land, creating even more opportunities for it to thrive!

As such, it appear that the only way of effectively tackling this dangerous eye-sore is to hire professionals to slowly kill it by means of a nasty ‘glysophate’ chemical solution. Administered by hand, this is a long process that (if done correctly) will eradicate the Knotweed problem. We’ve heard some real horror stories of other pubs ignoring their Knotweed only to find themselves at the wrong end of a lawsuit from their neighbours, which certainly isn’t something we’re willing to risk!

The garden will be closed for the next few months, but should be back open for the Summer – fingers crossed!

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