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Veggie Bites – Dog Strangling Vine

The vine it must be removed as soon as it is discovered, or it will wreak havoc in your garden. Dog Strangling Vine grows vigorously around plants effectively strangling them and it produces an amazing number of seeds. 

Greetings fellow gardener

This time of year is so beautiful. You can almost hear the garden grow after a summer rain and of course we can still use much more of that. I am changing things up a bit this week as I had a request to explain succession gardening. 

“In agriculture, succession planting refers to several planting methods that increasecrop availability during a growing season by making efficient use of space and timing.” (Wikipedia)

In the spring I mentioned how I would plant pea seeds every two weeks up until the end of May in order to get a longer growing season, however right now is not the best time to be planting cool weather crops. I started planting my cool weather seeds such as lettuce, peas, radish, and spinach in early spring. I missed harvesting my first two plantings of peas because I didn’t realize that the seeds were being eaten as soon as they were planted. Once I figured out that my pea seeds were all inside chipmunks, I put down netting and the next planting of peas are now ready to pick. Cool weather seeds do not germinate well at this time of year, but you can start planting them again in the fall. I found that I could get lettuce to germinate in the summer if I planted it in pots in the shade. Lettuce does very well when you plant it in early September.

One type of Succession planting means to plant a partial row of seeds and then in a couple of weeks plant another row of the same seeds. As you harvest your original row of seeds you can plant more of the same seeds. Another method is the following for example if you find that your row of lettuce has finished, pull out the old plants, add some compost to replenish the soil and try some bush beans, carrots, cabbage or kale. You can start a second crop of potatoes at this time as well. I suggest that you plant your second crop in a different spot so that your original potatoes can get larger.  I will be pulling up some new potatoes soon (I know they are there because my plant has flowers) and if I harvest all of them I will be using the nutrient-rich soil that the potatoes left behind to plant some yellow beans.  By using a succession method, you can increase the amount of space you have available. You can also increase your space by trying to grow a number of your vine crops vertically. Growing cucumbers on a trellis works well and the cucumbers are cleaner. In terms of succession I wouldn’t grow tomatoes or vine crops later in the season. They need a lot of time. You can double check the dates on your seed packets to see if that seed has a shorter growing time; nothing ventured nothing gained. It is very satisfying to have your garden producing from early spring right into late fall. 

Dog-Strangling Vine (Cynanchum rossicum & Cynanchum louiseae)

I remember my first encounter with dog-strangling vine. It seemed to tie itself around everything and it was very difficult to pull out. Now I know that it must be removed as soon as it is discovered, or it will wreak havoc in your garden. Dog-strangling vine is a combination of black swallowwort and pale swallowwort; they look remarkably similar. The vine grows vigorously around plants effectively strangling them and it produces an amazing number of seeds. 

  • Dog-strangling Vine forms dense stands that overwhelm and crowd out native plants and young trees, preventing forest regeneration.
  • Colonies form mats of interwoven vines that are difficult to walk through and interfere with forest management and recreational activities.
  • Leaves and roots may be toxic to livestock. Deer and other browsing animals also avoid dog-strangling vine, which can increase grazing pressure on more palatable native plants.
  • The vine threatens the monarch butterfly, a species at risk in Ontario. The butterflies lay their eggs on the plant, but the larvae are unable to complete their life cycle and do not survive.

This plant requires all of us to do our best to not allow it to take hold. If you see it, pull it out as best as you can and if you find an infestation you can add it to the invasive weed early detection and distribution mapping system https://www.eddmaps.org/Ontario/

Dog Strangling Vine