Weeds… a royal pain for anyone with a green thumb that likes to garden. Choking vine plants, crab grass in patio stones, dandelions in your lawn… the list goes on. But did you know some types of weeds are actually harmful and destructive to native plant and animal habitats in Ontario? Learning to recognize and remove invasive plant species is imperative to protecting our valuable natural environments and resources. The MNR had the following to say regarding invasive plants and how they affect biodiversity/ecosystems in Ontario:
“Invasives move into ecosystems and take over, killing some native species. Invasive species disrupt food webs, degrade habitat, introduce parasites and disease, and lead to species at risk. Globally, only habitat loss is a bigger threat to biodiversity. Fishing, hunting, forestry, tourism and agriculture can all be affected by invasive species. In the Great Lakes Basin, invasive species foul water intakes, reduce the value of commercial and recreational fisheries, and reduce property values. Every year invasive plants cost the agriculture and forest industries in Canada about $7.3 billion. In the Great Lakes, damage associated with zebra mussels has cost between $3 billion and $7.5 billion. Fighting and preventing the spread of invasive species is also extremely expensive. That’s why the best plan is to prevent invasive species from entering Ontario in the first place…”
Garlic mustard is a common invasive and can be found in many areas in Southern Ontario. If you find them in your gardens be sure to remove and dispose of them. Dig out the entire root system to ensure they won’t grow back.
Please take a moment to flip through this valuable resource and become familiar with problem plants in Ontario. Lets all do what we can folks