I am currently to establish a mint bed in an area of the garden which is overshadowed by two large Eucalypts. I have chosen mints (and lemon balm) for the bed as I am hoping that their invasive qualities will allow them to successfully compete for water and nutrients with the Eucalypt roots. Planting this bed got me thinking about the most invasive kitchen garden plants. This is what I think they are in my micro climate. I would love to know what goes wild for you.
Horseradish – A few years ago I planted horseradish in the ground and its still coming up. Horseradish self propagates from its roots so when you harvest it you invariably break a number of its roots in the process – all these broken bits grow and very quickly the whole area is filled with little horseradish plants which if left unchecked have the potential to take over the garden.
Mint – This is a much from reputation as experience, my mint generally grows well (the occasional bit of rust aside) but hasn’t really taken over per se. Having said that until now I have generally grown it in pots so it will be interesting to see if it lives up to its reputation in the ground.
Lemon Balm – Since I planted out the mint bed the one plant that has already started taking over the world is the lemon balm. I reckon it has quadrupled in size at least, while the mints have doubled at most. I now suspect this will become a lemon balm bed unless I keep a close eye on it. Since planting it out I keep noticing huge patches of lemon balm in random places, most recently at Melbourne Zoo where the whole floor of the fairly large Orang U Tan enclosure is covered with the stuff.
Fennel – In Australia fennel is classified as a weed and people are generally encouraged not to let it go to seed. It is classified as a weed because of the ease of self seeding and that it forms dense infestations crowding out other plants.
Pumpkin – Whilst pumpkin plants are relatively easy to maintain they still have the potential to take over a small suburban garden in the blink of an eye. One minute you’re happily eyeing off your slowly forming pumpkins, the next they have smothered all the other veg in the bed and are making their way across the lawn, down the side drive and up the street.
And that is my Top 5 for this week. Head over to the New Good Life to see what hers is this week.
Finally for all those affected by Hurricane Sandy, my thoughts are with you and I hope that you and your friends and family are safe and well and that your gardens emerge relatively unscathed.