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The city of Salem, Oregon, is a quaint and quiet city just shy of half a million residents.
It is home to the State of Oregon offices, as well as Willamette University, Corban University, and Chemeketa Community College. A city filled with beautiful mountains, valleys, and rivers – such a beautiful place to call home.
Since Salem houses most of the offices, many residents are employed by the state of Oregon.
However, other residents work with the many farmers and agricultural areas surrounding the city. Creating and maintain a sense of sustainability is important to the residents of Salem. They take pride in their city. So much so that when they were having difficulty with unwanted plants and weeds in one of their 46 outdoor parks, they decided to initiate a pilot project to take care of the greens.
So, what did this pilot project consist of?
Yes, you read that correctly.
The city hired approximately 75 goats at the end of 2015 to take care of the unwanted and invasive Armenian blackberry and English ivy spreading in its parks. The thought behind it was that it would be a natural way to control the plants and that it could be more cost-effective for the city. After all, they wouldn’t need to pay the goats as if they were humans, right?
Unfortunately for Salem, the pilot project did not go over so well at all. The excrement left behind from the goats created a rather smelly problem for park goers. Not to mention the need for the city to hire individuals to clean up after these goats! It turned out to cost the city more than it would have to just hire individuals to clean out the plants in the first place.
With the growing idea of taking care of our planet, maybe the city of Salem was on to something – using natural ways to keep landscaping beautiful, welcoming, and safe.
But, perhaps they should seek other methods and give the goats a break.
Here are a few alternate ideas:
- Use manual labor to cut the invasive plants out. Don’t just stop at the ground level. Dig underneath and pull out all the roots. Note: If you start when the vine is young and mostly weak, it is an easier project to tackle.
- Apply boiling water to the plants daily.
- Use a homemade method of extermination, especially for the English ivy. There are many different suggestions to try. Perhaps the most common is a method of salt and soap. To give this a try, combine the following: one gallon of water, three pounds of salt, ¼ cup of liquid soap. Mix and pour or spray over the ivy.
- Use white vinegar. Spray the ivy consistently for 7 to 10 days and monitor its look. The dead ivy will turn brown.
- For the blackberry, combine the following: one gallon of white vinegar, one cup of salt, and two tablespoons of liquid soap. Mix, then pour or spray on the blackberry. Over time, this will kill the blackberry and you can then pull up the roots more easily. – Just do not forget about the roots or you must start this whole process over next year!
- Avoid pesticides and herbicides as they can be harmful and can contaminate nearby water.
- Consider clearing your land and adding artificial grass. Artificial grass in Salem Orgeon will provide you with a beautiful green landscape and no invasive plants. Sure, it may be a pain and a lot of work to remove the blackberry and ivy initially, but once it is gone and you lay down your luscious new greens – you are set! Besides, artificial turf is very environmentally friendly and requires no maintenance and no watering!!
However you choose to tackle your issues, just choose to avoid the route that Salem went – no goats!
Make sure you keep it safe for the environment (no herbicides or pesticides) and conservation supporting, such as artificial grass. Contact us today to see how we can help you get started!