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Attack of the Irritating Weeds!

Expert fills folks in on how to combat unwanted plants.

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At tonight’s Alien Invasion Underway program, Rick Gardner talks about backyard weeds like they’re multiplying monsters from a sci-fi flick. During his Geauga Park District presentation, Gardner reveals Ohio’s 10 most annoying plants, including the bush honeysuckle, Japanese knotweed, and the potentially flammable reed grass -- a common nuisance around these parts. “If you’re driving down the interstate, it looks like bamboo with a plume on top,” says the suitably named Gardner, a botanist for the Ohio Division of Natural Areas & Preserves. “When it gets dry, it catches on fire.”

Gardner also warns homeowners to steer clear of the popular buckthorn when landscaping, since their dense thickets are difficult to uproot once they take over gardens and fields. And the pesky garlic-mustard plant? It’s more useful on the dinner table than in the backyard, where it consumes nutrients in the soil meant for native wildflowers, says Gardner. “Pull the shrubs out of the ground, cut them up, and eat them,” he advises. “They’re better off in your pesto or salad.”
Sat., Feb. 10, 7 p.m.

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