My mother-in-law has a back yard full of sugar cane growing. Any suggestions on how to get rid of it?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Kathy: Sugar cane is a tropical grass that once planted will return year after year in your part of the country. Growing sugar cane can be a profitable crop for large farms, but it requires a lot of labor and usually large machinery to harvest. There is a project under way in your state for farmers to grow sugar cane as a source for jet fuel, not that your mother-in-law wants to take this on, or any home gardener for that matter. An established plot will be a task to get rid of but it certainly is doable. Depending on the space involved this might be a job that you hire out for, but the first thing you need to do is cut back the foliage so that photosynthesis is reduced. The roots will need to be dug up, which is the only way to prevent it from coming back. You should contact your County Cooperative Extension Service for local recommendations. The Lauderdale county offices are located at 802 Veterans Drive in Florence. The phone number is (256) 766-6223. The following link is to the Lauderdale County Web site: www.aces.edu/counties/Lauderdale/