By Heidi Bornhorst
I asked my friend and great Gardener, Mari who lives Mauka of Sunset beach how bad the shoreline erosion was, and can she access her beach?
NO, she said sadly, It’s still blocked off and there is a steep Cliff, and dangerous drop off, it is too dangerous to walk down to Sunset Beach or Kammieland.
Plus, she continues, there’s so much beach litter and trash everywhere that are a result of “temporary” sandbag burritos and black saran shade cloth.
Along with the liter there are multiple safety issues including rebar, concrete and other structural debris from coastal houses. These houses are now too close to our North shore surf swells, breaking waves and high tides.
BUT, says Mari, there is one upside to this trash and mis-use of our public beach.
My friends and I gather up the black matting erosion control debris that is floating in the ocean. (And yes, its very heavy when waterlogged).
What do you do with it then? We dry it out and SOLARIZE a most hated weed. You know that Asparagus pokey groundcover? Or sometimes called Asparagus Fern?
Asparagus “fern” is not a fern, Asparagus sprengeri is actually in the Lily family and is related ot our edible asparagus. It is very pokey, and if it pokes your bare gloveless hands, it’s kind of toxic.
I used to favor it for landscaping because it is extremely tough, xeric, and a good ground cover in a dry neglected garden.
But as a maintenance gardener I HATE it! Its pokey and the pokes from the minute thorns on the stems, can get infected. (remember to put on your garden gloves!) It has underground storage tubers, like little potatoes that make it a drought tolerant survivor plant and also Supremely difficult to eradicate.
You can dig and dig it out, but if one small tuber is left behind, Auwe! It will all sprout up again.
And it has RED FRUIT, with several black seeds inside. Birds love to find and eat red fruit and then they poop out the seeds everywhere.
AN ALL AROUND PESTY PLANT !!
We were talking about the wave erosion, high tides and overly heated water, and global warming change to north shore and illegals things people are doing..
How’s about the guy pouring concrete and rebar on the beach? Didn’t someone see it and report the Concrete Company?! Really unfortunate and unsafe issues here. Something needs to be done to save our beaches and Kai for everyone. Hard to watch.
Though there are many things we cannot control, the reuse of this beach trash to help eliminate a weedy plant in the garden, this is AKAMAI!
SOLARAZATION is a great way to control weeds without using dangerous chemical herbicides.
Often we use layers of wet newspaper, cardboard or even carpet to smother and solarize weeds, and turf grass where we don’t want it etc. Then after the weeds are safely killed, you can peel them away, restore the soil, and plant useful plants in place of alien weeds.
The black saran or shade cloth which some use as weed controlling ground cover, or in this case to slow down the power of wave erosion, can be used to solarize and kill weeds in our gardens.
This a beach clean up with a purpose!
Mahalo to Mari and her North shore friends who help clean our beaches and then grow good productive gardens.