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Squash Pulls Weeds

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After having spent a good chunk of the morning ripping out highly invasive Japanese honeysuckle, I felt like a quick little doodle of everybody's favorite chibi squash kachina having the same trouble.

Just to put on my ecologist hat here--if you live in the Southeast, please please PLEASE do not plant Japanese honeysuckle. It's harder to get rid of than kudzu. The only way to kill it is with nasty herbicides, goats, or a tactical nuke. I am fighting a holding action against it at the moment, but I don't delude myself that I'm winning.

Yes, it smells pretty for a couple of weeks, but it strangles trees and kills native plants all year long. They still sell it at Lowes, but that does NOT make it okay to plant. (They sell some really bad plants at big home improvement chains...) The Nature Conservancy and every other native plant alliance on earth begs you not to plant it, in fact. It's one of the very worst invasives here. I spend dozens of man-hours a year fighting the stuff in my yard, and there are thousands of grad students the South over spending their summers trying to untwine it from around strangled trees.

There are lovely American honeysuckles that aren't hideously invasive and which smell just as pretty, and which the hummingbirds will like even more.* Better yet, bugs will actually be able to nibble it, and that means that those hummingbirds will have something to feed their babies. (Hummingbirds feed bugs to hatchlings, not nectar.) You might have to go to a garden store instead of just Home Depot to get it, but planting native honeysuckle instead of the Japanese stuff is one of the most straightforward things you can do to help make the world a better place.

Ahem. Okay, done preaching. Digital, a quickie, but you can order prints if you are, like me, a hopeless Squash fangirl. (There's gotta be a couple out there...)

[link]



*Gee, you think maybe I've heard those excuses before...?
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Comments74
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hrhtomas's avatar
Thanks for the heads up.
JimFredriksson's avatar
I just love the style of these paintings, it's a brilliant collection.
It's all amazing, you're a really true artist with true passion
Taren14's avatar
If you didn't live in Australia, I could send a few goats your way.
DiamondLeaf's avatar
Adorable and educational to boot.

*is very happy her two 3foot garden plots are empty*
mustardofdoom's avatar
Invasive species... the bane of biologists.
UrsulaPatch's avatar
Poor Squash. I feel his and your pain.
MUSEstalker's avatar
This is SO cute!! I hate hate hate pulling weeds although we don't have too many THIS bad :) I live in the desert so we get a TON of goat head weeds which suck in their own fun way :D ESPECIALLY when you find one in your house with bare feet!!
Charishawk's avatar
This is absolutely adorable. I love it.
Justria's avatar
Sympathy from the Pacific Northwest! Over here, the big pest is Himalayan Blackberry. It spread via seeds, roots, and will put down new roots wherever the stem touches the ground. There's a huge root ball you have to dig out if you want to have any hope of permanently removing the plant. And there are thorns. The one positive thing is that it's kind of nice being able to pick blackberries along the road in the summer (until they out-compete the salmonberries).
ayuICHI's avatar
Hahahaha soooo random XD <3333 I love it.
lonewylfe's avatar
I love the personal irony of the picture. We had a squash (probably a butternut) come up randomly in the yard one year, and it was a fight between it and the honeysuckle. The honeysuckle finally lost, at least till the next spring.

I've been trying to get rid of that as well, even though I love it for its smell and health uses. It's just such a pest.
Wisteria is another one; have some of that in bloom right now and it's pretty, but it's strangling the trees.

The only things I personally find worse than either of those or even kudzu are mint (the spreading ones like pennyroyal anyway) and holly.

Whoever thought I'd turn out to be such a plant killer!
Alexxan's avatar
I could loan you some goats.
galenrandir's avatar
I live in Seattle, and I've been doing the same thing with English Ivy.
Raptor-Chick's avatar
Very cute picture!
also, if you do plant something like mint and don't want it to spread, plant it in the pot. It stays put then. ^.^
animefreak120's avatar
I hope you win the battle with the Japanese Honeysuckle soon. ):

Thanks for the tips. I never really knew anything about the this. I'll have to remember those tips. -likes saving nature, yes-
Barmy-Bunny's avatar
SQUAH KACHINA!!! I missed it so much.
*has a funny fan girl moment and runs around madly*
Safire-Serpent's avatar
sounds like bittersweet up here in Massachusetts. round up only has a 50% of killing it, and my dad gets the industrial strength.
Nullcast's avatar
She's serious. Wikipedia talks about burning the plant to root level then repeating every two weeks until nutrient reserves in the roots are gone. Yikes!
666infernus999's avatar
bula-2's avatar
yay he's back.
DruidElf's avatar
Considering I faved him as soon as I saw him, I think you can add me to your fangirl list.

And I follow you on your blog, so I know of your agonies with the invasives. :hug:
Sober-Irish-Guy's avatar
You might need another "ripped" squash pic for fangirls. Speaking of, while in Paris (the proper good-bread Paris, ofc) I saw Orangina's poster adds that featured the female counterpart of your beeshi-squeshe (...man, that was the worst sound-play I think I've every written down..)

[link]

The ads are very "uncanny valley" to me. Especially the anthro-animal ones.
JennOkami's avatar
AH! FINALLY ANOTHER ECO MINDED PERSON! <3 YAY! I remember spending a whole summer in VA killing off Japanese honeysuckle and Kudzu. Both are unplesant and apparently I'm very allergic to them too (got rashes all over my arms). I hope you keep it at bay! Best of luck and all!
CrazyFoxMoon's avatar
Little does Squash know there's someone underground pulling on the weed's roots. They're locked in a gardening tug-of-war.

Sweet picture. Love the exclamation!
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