Saturday, November 12, 2011

wild radish ~ 11/12/11 ~ Elkhorn Slough

Well, knock my socks off! Hello? I had no idea the wild radish I frequently see around here is the same species as the radish I buy at farmers' markets and the grocery store. Did you know that? I even grew one this summer in my mini-greenhouse after a stocky sprout came up from my too-soon-to-use compost. I'm laughing, because the whole time I was perplexed thinking, "Hey, this looks exactly like what I see growing out in the wild." I should note, there is another species of radish that grows wild at Elkhorn and is aka wild radish / jointed charlock (Raphanus raphanistrum).

The second photo above is the exact area where last year I noticed a heavy dose of herbicide to knock down the poison hemlock. I'm sorry to say that at the time I was very critical of the reserve's generous use of herbicides. I had quickly edited the post, which now doesn't reflect what I was reading at the time. I'll admit to being ignorant of lots of things. Through following blogs, my opinions about land management practices have been changing. Bree at the now defunct Land Steward had two really good posts, what restoration means to me and weeds. I still think the marketing departments at major pesticide manufacturers do too good of a job at pulling the wool over people's eyes, ears, and mouths. However, given the choice between invasives versus reintroduced natives... well, I do like seeing native flowers... but at what costs?


randomtruth said...

Chemicals are a tool, and thus like so many other tools, can be used well, poorly, and way too often. As you're seeing, for some invasives and dense infestations, chems can be effectively used to knock them back to levels where hand removal can take over thereafter. But it is always a hard choice to decide on methods of removal/suppression.

Pampass grass and Arundo are 2 invasives so sturdy that you pretty much have to cut and spray them if you're to have any chance of digging their roots and rhizomes out. They are just that tough.

camissonia said...

I used to be quite anti-herbicide until I found myself waging a losing battle every year against a swath of black mustard, filaree, and yellow star thistle popping up around our grounds in the spring-summer seasons. Judicious applications of preemergent herbicides were effective and necessary in eradicating these nasty invasives, thereby allowing our native chaparral species to eventually repopulate the area. Btw, Elkhorn Slough is an amazing place. Saw my first Chestnut-backed Chickadee there in 2004!

Katie (Nature ID) said...

I remember now why I was so critical of chemicals before - I worried it could wash into the estuary and affect the invertebrates there (I found research papers that refuted what Monsanto was marketing), which would also end up affecting the birds that eat the inverts. I should spend a day volunteering at Elkhorn, so I can truly appreciate the difficult decisions they have to make in order to restore this incredible land resource. I'm always up for learning and changing my ignorant opinions.