How to Shade Reed canary grass when the Solar Eclipse is Over

Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest Member, Gina Graziano

Well, the solar eclipse came and went but not quite long enough to shade out the Reed canary grass at Butternut Creek unfortunately. Students know well that Reed canary grass’  arch nemesis is shade so answering my question, “how do we get rid of Reed canary grass” with “the solar eclipse!” wasn’t too out of this universe, figuratively that is.

So we started to think a little more realistically about the ways we could defeat this invasive, allergy-inducing menace and realized coffee bags and mulch might be the perfect solution! Coffee bags, made from a grass called jute, will suppress the growth of Reed canary grass just next to a native tree or shrub and will eventually biodegrade. Mulch will help our native tree or shrub retain moisture in the warm, summer months and will also do quite a lot to suppress weeds!

So off we went, securing coffee bags into the ground with biodegradable stakes. Our plants look a lot better already.

Thanks so much, Aloha, for all of your incredible work at Butternut Creek this year. You persevered through some tough days of frozen plants on a frosty December morning to high peak allergies on a warm, May day. Your work will be long-lasting and make a difference for the entire watershed.

Thank you, Clean Water Services, for funding this project!

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