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ursulav's avatar

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...)


*Gee, you think maybe I've heard those excuses before...?
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hrhtomas's avatar
Thanks for the heads up.