AT Home with Sarah Beeny - December 2011 - (Page 237)
Out of control
You might think it’s your noisy neighbours or a less-than-perfect bathroom that’s delaying the sale of your house but, in more and more cases, it’s down to an aggressive garden invader which is knot a laughing matter...
your local authority; ring the landowner – make yourself a nuisance! You have to be vocal. ● Note exactly where the plant has been spotted. Get some professional advice or take a tape measure and plot the position and distance the plant is from your property. The following year, carry out the same exercise and you will quickly get an idea of how rapidly the plant is heading in your direction. ● While you carry out this exercise, try to ﬁnd the owner of the land and advise them that if their Japanese knotweed breaches the boundary of your property, you will be taking legal action – and use the measurements taken over previous seasons as proof of the origin of the infestation. ● Take plenty of well-documented photographs and details of the precautions you have taken.
Japanese knotweed within 30 metres ow very odd that an of a boundary’. However, contrary attractive plant with to this, some lenders will now lush foliage and issue mortgages if this delicate destructive plant is within ﬂowers FAST FACT: your home’s boundary, has become the cause of FROM APRIL TO but not if it’s outside house selling and buying OCTOBER, THIS PLANT CAN it. Why? Because if it nightmares but, for many GROW 7m ALL is growing within your homeowners, this is the ROUND! boundary, experts believe case. And the culprit? you are in a position to Japanese knotweed. The tackle the problem and solve name is a bit of a giveaway it; outside of your boundary, it’s – this plant, which was imported to the deemed much more difﬁcult. UK in the 19th century for ornamental gardens – is now one of the most damaging invasive species. It literally knots itself around, and grows through, Mike Clough, the chief executive anything. It even breaks up concrete: of Japanese Knotweed Solutions a major concern for homeowners. (www.jksl.com), suggests ways to deal with the problem if this species is in your neighbourhood: ● If you are aware that Japanese Panic reports in the press state that knotweed is in your local area, don’t mortgage lenders ‘will not provide wait until it’s on your doorstep. Ring a mortgage on a property that has
‘The problem of Japanese knotweed came up on Help! My House Is Falling Down, and we warned the people that wrong treatment could make the problem worse. So, if in doubt, call experts from the start.’
TRUE OR FALSE?
‘I DIDN’T THINK I’D EVER SELL MY FLAT’
Dahlia Cuby, 38, a full-time mum, recalls her knotweed horror story ‘The sale of my at was underway until my buyer’s mortgage company did a survey and spotted Japanese knotweed in my garden. I didn’t even know I had any – there were just two stems of it, about 20ft from my property. Her mortgage company immediately refused to proceed and I lost the sale. ‘I traced the plant’s origins – a passage that runs along the back of my row of houses. My at’s leaseholder owned that land and he got specialists in immediately. They treated the knotweed with pesticide and it was left to die. The company returns twice a year for ve years to check it’s not grown back and I was given a full report to show the works were complete. ‘I was advised to reduce my asking price by £30,000 but I resisted. I eventually sold it six months later but, in that time, Japanese knotweed completely took over my life.’
GET TO THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
● If you have space, fence o the
WORDS: JO WILLACY | PHOTOGRAPHS: GETTY IMAGES
infestation – allow a minimum of three metres from surface growth to fence line (seven metres is the recommended distance). ● Treat repeatedly with a glyphosate- based herbicide such as Roundup. Continue treating until no new surface growth appears. ● Leave the surface undisturbed for a minimum of 12 months. ● Check for new growth. ● Ideally, leave the root system in place and plant other species around the rhizome (where the roots grow horizontally along the ground). ● Look for re-growth every year, even after you think you have eradicated the problem. ✱
DECEMBER 2011 | 237
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AT Home with Sarah Beeny - December 2011
HELLO FROM SARAH
MAKE IT A DATE
PASTE IT UP
TO LET OR NOT TO LET?
KEYS TO THE DOOR
QUEEN OF THE CASTLE
TRICKS OF THE TRADE
BEST OF THE BRIGHTS
STORE IN STYLE
SHAKE IT UP!
NIGHT ON THE TILES
THE TEMPERATURE’S RISING
BURN BABY BURN
KEEP IT IN
DON’T BLAME THE TOOLS
AT Home with Sarah Beeny - December 2011