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Garden Conservancy Open Days Visit four Milwaukee area gardens.
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Summer Care for Your Water Garden
by Melinda Myers
Your water garden is flourishing – maybe a bit too much. Now is a good time to tame those aggressive plants and eliminate any unwanted or invasive plants that are crowding out their neighbors. Managing these now will allow your desirable plants to flourish.
Remove a portion of aggressive plants that are taking up more than their fair share of space in your water garden. And if this is an annual problem, consider removing it and replacing it with something more suitable.
While you are weeding out unwanted plants, check for any invasive plants that may have found their way into your ponds and water gardens. Invasive plants may look beautiful, but they can escape your garden and wreak havoc on native plants in our lakes and waterways. Watch our Summer Care for Water Gardens video with more information.
If you discover an invasive species, especially one prohibited by the WI Invasive Species Rule NR40, in your pond or nearby waterway, let the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources know so they can advise on how to contain and manage the problem. And if you are interested in volunteering to help control these unwanted plants email DNRAISinfo@wisconsin.gov for help finding a local organization to assist.
Don’t share or set aggressive or invasive plants free in wetlands, lakes and streams. These nonnative plants crowd out our native plants and disrupt the balance in our waterways. This impacts the health and well-being of aquatic habitats and the fish, birds and insects that depend upon them.
Instead, remove the plants, seal in a plastic bag, label as Invasive, approved by WDNR for landfill and place in the trash. Do not compost these plants as most of our compost piles do not heat up enough to kill the plants and their seeds.
A bit of summer cleanup will help keep your water gardens healthy and looking their best. And properly managing aggressive and invasive plants helps protect our lakes and waterways. Together we can make a difference.
Melinda Myers is the author of numerous books, including Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series” DVD series and the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio program. Myers web site is www.MelindaMyers.com
Invasive Disposal Photo courtesy of MelindaMyers.com
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