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How to Get Rid of Unwanted Ferns

How to Get Rid of Unwanted Ferns
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When it comes to managing your garden, there are so many different ways you can put your focus toward.

Some people prefer to let their lawns grow naturally, letting whatever seeds that find their way into the yard grow into plants that will flourish with time. Other people prefer to manage their gardens down to the miniscule detail, keeping the grass trimmed evenly in all areas.

No matter how you enjoy managing your garden, there will eventually come a time when you realize you need to get rid of some unwanted plants. These plants can be in the form of unwanted tree saplings, weeds, or bushes of various types.

It could be that these plants infringe on the image that you are creating for your yard, or it could be that the plant is an invasive species that needs to be removed completely before it takes over your yard.

When you come across these plants that need to be removed, you may not know the best way to go about getting rid of them. There are some plants out there that can be removed as easily as tearing the plant and its roots up out of the ground, whereas other plants may be far more robust than that.

Once you know what kind of plant you are planning to get rid of, you can begin to search for the best methods of plant removal.

Take ferns as an example. Some types of ferns are desired in gardens for their delicate and lacy appearance, but some people do not appreciate some of the more invasive variants of the fern species.

Ferns can be removed by a variety of methods, but it is always important that you get rid of the fern as soon as it becomes noticeable. If you don’t remove the fern before its spores fall, you will be dealing with a lot more ferns than anyone wants to deal with.

As for how you will be dealing with the fern, you can rest assured knowing that there are more than a few different methods of fern removal. It is believed that people have been removing ferns from their gardens since the mid-1550s, with a much more formal explanation of removal dating back to well over a century ago.

It can go without saying that anything that has been such a common and long-lasting problem is going to have a variety of ways to get rid of it.

Removing a Few Ferns

Ferns Growing in Yard

Depending on the appearance you are going for with your garden, you may decide that you want to keep one or two ferns on your property.

After all, these plants are renowned for their appearance, so it can do you well to have a few that accent your garden. If you plan on saving a few of the fern bushes in your yard, you are going to want to go with a method that is known as “define and persist.”

The “define and persist” method is exactly what its name implies. You are going to want to define which of the ferns you want to keep in your garden and mark or memorize them in one way or another so that you do not accidentally kill them.

From there, you will want to persist in removing the unwanted ferns from the yard and then resorting to only killing off the spores before they are released so that you do not spread any unwanted ferns.

Removing the unnecessary ferns is fairly simple, as all you will need to do is dig down and carefully remove the root system along with the crown of the plant. For the spores, you will want to have a good understanding of how fern spores work. T

ypically, a standard and healthy fern is going to have a set of dormant spores on its leaves that will sit there for years to come before transforming into the spores that nobody wants. It will be important to regularly remove those spores so that when it does become the season for fern removal, you won’t have to give it a second thought.

To remove the spores off the fern plants, you will want to use a glyphosate mix, which will get rid of the spores without damaging the plant beneath it too much. Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide that you will be able to find in most standard stores that supply herbicides.

Keep in mind that the battle of not allowing more ferns to produce is one that you will engage in for as long as your fern plants survive, so if you are planning on doing this, you should be ready for the commitment.

Removing All the Ferns Naturally

Ferns Growing Near Fence

If you do not intend on keeping any of the ferns in your lawn, there is another method that you can try to use to get rid of the invasive fern species. This method is the simplest and most straightforward method that you could ask for in any sort of gardening circle. All you will need to do is remove the fern physically from the yard.

This method will involve two parts to it. First, you will want to do a little bit of digging and rummaging in the yard to try and get a feel for the fern’s roots and how far out the root system goes.

From there, you will want to do the best you can to dig up the fern and its root system so that there is as little of a chance as possible for the fern to grow back. You can then toss the ferns themselves into a compost bin or the trash, whichever is your preferred place.

You will typically want to do this before the ferns drop their spores, as when ferns drop their spores, it’ll be too late for you to go back and prevent that from happening. More often than not, you will want to aim to do this near the beginning of the year, as the fern just barely begins to poke out of the surface of the dirt with its highly distinguishable fiddleheads.

As you are feeling for the root system, you should consider a few things. For one, the root system of most standard ferns out there is typically a dense mat of roots that are tall tangled and a bit hard to pull out on their own.

If you leave any part of the root behind, the plant will begin trying to regrow itself, which can result in a fern popping up in the area where you just removed ferns. Nobody wants this to happen.

You will also likely want to invest in a shovel for this process as well. Because of the density of the root mats and the widespread aspect of the root system, ferns can be incredibly hard for people to pull out of the ground, even if you are used to the strength it needs to properly garden.

Digging with a Shovel

Because of this aspect, many people prefer to use the strength of a shove to dig underneath the core of the fern so that it will be easier to lift it out from the ground.

Another completely natural way that you can consider removing ferns is to use a lawnmower (or a natural lawnmower). Lawnmowers will easily tear up the plant enough to ensure that it will not be alive anymore, and most lawnmowers will also take care of the root system enough to not leave enough left for the fern to fully regrow.

This takes much of the manual work out of fern removal and it can work better when you have acres of land to cover.

If those acres of land tend to be farmland, you could even consider letting cows eat up the ferns in your yard. Cows will usually find the fern to be a nice treat to come across, so by urging your cow to take an interest in ferns and their taste, you can quickly train your cattle to become your own natural lawnmower.

If you live in a drier, more secluded area, you may want to consider burning down the unwanted ferns. While this may seem like overkill to some people, ferns can truly be this invasive of a species.

For some plots of land that need to be free of ferns and other forms of weeds, burning down the area is going to be the most efficient method as well as one of the more environmentally friendly options for you to consider.

The most common method that people will rely on for getting rid of their ferns is to dig them up very shortly after they have just come up from the ground. This will ensure that there is not enough time for the spores to spread too much, and you will be able to not have to worry about the fern harming other plants that may be in your garden.

This method is also the easiest in terms of skills and the supplies needed to get the job done, considering that all that you will need is an optional shovel and a pair of gloves to protect your hands.

These are just a few of the options to consider when you are planning on removing your own ferns in a natural and environmentally safe manner.