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Landscaper seeks advice on how to handle 'hellscape' teeming with invasive plants: 'It is not quick or easy by any means'

"It can take years of vigilance."

"It can take years of vigilance."

Photo Credit: Reddit

Homeowners are turning to Reddit for advice on eco-friendly ways to stop invasive plants from taking over their yards. A recent post in the r/landscaping community details one person's struggle with a wide range of aggressive vines and shrubs on a military base.

The poster, who is not allowed to use herbicides or cut anything larger than a soda can, is seeking suggestions for hindering the resilience of the invasive plants.

"Has every invasive plant I can think of," the user laments, listing off clematis vine, Russian olive, English ivy, and more. "I really hate invasives, so it's a lot of fun to just tear into this hellscape.

"Cutting the vines off the native saplings, pruning the invasive trees to the ground, and pulling the vines off the bigger trees."

While the original poster is limited in their removal methods, their battle against invasive plants is one that many eco-conscious homeowners can relate to.

Invasive species often require more water, fertilizer, and maintenance than native alternatives. This takes a toll on the environment and can also put a dent in your wallet.

So, if invasive species have a chokehold on your backyard, clear them out, ditch the traditional grass lawn, and replace it with native plants, clover, buffalo grass, or xeriscaping. Even a partial lawn replacement can save you money and time on upkeep, conserve water, lower your bills, and create a healthier ecosystem for vital pollinators. It's a win-win for you and the planet.

If you need to remove stubborn invasives, commenters had a few creative suggestions. 

"Relentlessly cutting back invasives will work but it is not quick or easy by any means. It can take years of vigilance," one user advised.

"The poison ivy complicates things but I hear good things about a soap called tecnu. Once all the vines and whatnot are clear, you can do a nice woodland garden."

Others suggested enlisting the help of some hungry goats or investing in a brushcutter to clear out the unwanted plants.

The bottom line? While eradicating invasive species takes persistence, replacing resource-intensive lawns with native alternatives is one of the most impactful changes you can make.

Not only will your yard look beautiful and unique, but you'll be doing your part to build a more sustainable future — one clover patch at a time. That's an accomplishment we can all get behind.

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