The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is sending out some tips to help fight invasive species. The MNRF says invasive species, like Hogweed, can take root in gardens. They will attack and could potentially harm other plants. They have been called one of the biggest threats to biodiversity, second only to habitat loss, costing agriculture and forest industries $7.3 billion every year in Canada.

On top of invasive species potentially overrunning your plants, some are poisonous to people, and can cause rashes or burns. Ontario has the highest number of invasive species because of favourable conditions, a high number of imports moving through, and its location.

The MNRF is releasing the following tips to keep your gardens safe:

  • Do not transplant species from natural areas into your garden
  • Check the resources listed below to make sure you are purchasing only non-invasive plants
  • Watch for invasive plants in your garden, especially along property lines, fence lines and trails
  • If you find invasive plants in your garden, replace them with a native or non-invasive alternative
  • If an area is only lightly invaded, it may be okay to leave invasive material onsite if it appears to be seedless. However, if the plant appears to reproduce through the roots, be sure to remove it from your garden
  • Put any invaders into a garbage bag. Check with your municipality to see how it treats organic compost. Consult local by-laws to see whether it can be burned or should be taken to a landfill

More information is available on the Invasive Species Ontario website and the Guide to Northern Ontario planting website.