By Ted Farnworth

DSV pile

Picked DSV in early June 2017

Most years we spend a lot of time battling Dog Strangling Vine (DSV) at the FWG. Over the years, we have developed many techniques. The most labour intensive method is “just pulling the plant.” This very low tech activity is ideal for many people because it can be done at any time during the growing season, it can be done by an individual or a group, and depending on how long you pick the DSV, you can quickly see the results of your labour.

For other people the idea of picking individual DSV seems to be a make work project given to volunteers when there is nothing better to do. When you start pulling DSV and look around and see so much of it growing, it can be very discouraging. Surely, clearing a patch of the garden of DSV can’t be effective.
But what we are finding is that sometimes nature just needs a little help. Some plants can compete with DSV if they are given a chance. Wild raspberry is one plant that seems to be able to grow quickly enough to take over ground that has been cleared of DSV.

Raspberry replaces DSV

Wild raspberry plants growing in same location as cleared DSV in June 2017

We obviously don’t want to have the FWG overrun by wild raspberry. However, by giving native plants a little help, we may be able to find effective ways to control and even eliminate our most challenging invasive species – DSV.