A boot brush and a car wash help prevent spread of invasive seed.

Controlling invasive plant species populations is a complex and challenging problem that takes planning, timing, persistence, and collaboration.

Bob Easter, NICHES Stewardship Manager, shares some insights and suggestions to help minimize spread of seed.  Recently he mowed an area infested with invasive grasses. The intent was to mow the grasses before they could produce seed and to do so in such a manner that the stems and leaves cut smoother the current stems. After mowing, Bob thoroughly washed the truck (used to haul the mower into the field) and the mower including the blades. “[Even though the chance of] spreading seed from mowing done before flowering is likely limited to seed from soil getting stuck to tires, it is possible that [former seasons] seed be kicked up from the ground and stick to the grass under the mower deck.” The thorough washing of mower and truck ensures that seed from one site won’t be transferred to another site.

Bob also prepared portable boot brushes to enable boot cleaning between properties. Such methodical attention to potential spread of invasive species seeds helps minimize the spreading.

Please get or make yourself a portable boot brush and keep it in your vehicle. Brush your feet at the end of a hike before transporting seeds into your vehicle or carrying seeds to another site.

Preventing spread of invasive plant species is an important step to control invasive species infestation. Thank for doing your part.