Invasive weed problem

Asked July 23, 2018, 10:43 AM EDT

I have the invasive weed, American hog potato vine invading 2 of my very old established shade gardens. It is vining all over my plants and spread a cover over all the ground. I also have it in my back yard- far away from these beds, growing along my fence in a swampy wooded area. They have not flowered yet, I read that I need to get rid of it before it flowers and spreads. It looks like there are many many roots to it, almost individual roots. I was thinking of digging out the plants I want to save and store them and then burn the gardens and cover them for a couple weeks to kill off the weed. Will that work? What about the weed in the backyard? will that just spread back to those areas? I cannot burn that backyard area. Any other ideas?

Anoka County Minnesota

1 Response

We presume the plant you are referring to is American hog peanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata).

Hog peanut is a summer annual (or short-lived perennial), so most of the vines present now will not grow again next year. Consequently, digging the perennials and burning and covering the affected area will not provide control.

The challenge then is to prevent the germination and spread of next year's vines. That might involve removing this year's flowers (as many as possible) and spreading mulch around the perennials to suppress germination next spring. Watch carefully for any vines that do emerge and pull them before they wrap around the perennials.

Using a pre-emergent such as Preen next spring might also help prevent germination.