tlc4bcOn September 25th TLC Covenant Manager Torrey Archer and CRD Volunteer Coordinator Colleen Long led volunteers in tackling invasive species at the Atkins Covenant located near Thetis Lake.
Approximately 10 people worked on the site for about 4 hours, clearing away the invasive species known as St. John’s Wort (Hypericum calycinum). Unfortunately, this is not the medicinal type of St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum), otherwise the work party could have turned into a “make your own medicine” party afterwards!
Nonetheless, the volunteers and staff had a very satisfying time ripping out the unwanted intruder. St. John’s Wort is a tricky plant to remove as it is much like English ivy and will re-sprout from any leftover rootlets. This often means literally sifting the soil to remove all rhizomes to reduce the chance of re-invasion. As the affected area is fairly large, our strategy is to remove the above-ground biomass and then cover it with a layer of unwaxed cardboard and other mulch to essentially smother the invasive species out. This technique is also part of “lasagna gardening”, a strategy aimed at reducing or eliminating the need to till soil by adding different components in layers the same way we add different ingredients to build a lasagna. This method is attractive as disturbing the soil often breaks the mycelial network found underground, which acts as a highway of nutrients and information. Research has shown that the greater the mycelial biomass, the greater the overall ecosystem health (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00374-002-0546-5 ). Read more at http://conservancy.bc.ca/2016/09/atkins-covenant-work-party/
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