Knotweed problem could soon be solved

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Gardeners with the problem of Japanese knotweed may be following the progress of a government trial with interest.

It was recently agreed to rubber stamp an experiment in which a limited number of non-native insects will be released in the hope of halting the rapid spread of the foreign weed.

The Aphalara itadori is a psyllid which feeds on the sap of the knotweed and could potentially stunt its growth.

Experts have been planning the release for years and are confident that the trial will be a success.

However, should the insects behave irregularly, there will be professionals on hand armed with pesticides to rectify the problem.

Wildlife minister Huw Irranca-Davies is backing the trial and suggested that it could event redress the balance of nature in the UK.

The "ground-breaking" event will be the first time a non-native insect has been introduced into a European country for environmental reasons.

Meanwhile, Beefeater BBQ has told Garden XL that keeping a barbecue clean is as important as being a good chef - something garden fans may wish to remember this summer.   - 15 March 2010
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Knotweed problem could soon be solved

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