Invasive Weed Control

My neighbor's back yard (Zone 6b) is over run by "Mile a minute" weed (Polygonum pefoliatum) and I am going to help her eradicate it. It's a rocky area that lost it's tree canopy over the last few years (storm damage) and this stuff is covering EVERYTHING. It is even choking out "Tree of Heaven" trees. I need to get on it fast, as it's going to seed right now, and a few plants are already are showing fully formed berries.
I'll only use herbicides as a last resort, as this area supports wells. My plan is to stake down tarps and cover her entire back yard until next Spring. Is this plan sound, or has someone had success with another method?
Google searches say the "seed is spread by water." What does that mean? Do birds also eat and spread the seed? I assume this is an annual weed that reseeds itself. Will the covering method rot the seeds on the ground, preventing them from germinating, or do I need to follow up with a pre-emergent herbicide in the Spring? Wholesale burning is not practical. This site below says the seeds can persist for up to 4 years in the soil.
http://www.invasive.org/eastern/biocontrol/26MileAMinute.html
What to do? . Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Zing the Weed Warrior
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"seed is spread by water" It means they float.
Be sure to wear heavy gloves when trying to pull it out.
The stems are covered with scores of tiny nasty fang-like prickles that will rip your skin.
Try to find the main stems at ground level. Pulling them out from there will quickly kill most of the plant.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yes, it's an annual weed. The "seed is spread by water" statement means that when seeds fall into a stream or river, they will still remain viable for some time, and germinate where they are eventually washed ashore.
I doubt you will ever be completely rid of it, as there's bound to some nearby that will be spread by birds. But I have had success in keeping it at bay. The roots are very unsubstantial, and extremely easy to pull. I put on sturdy clothing and heavy gloves (those prickles are small but nasty), grab a bunch, and start rolling it up into large clumps or bales for removal.. The work goes quickly. A huge amount of it is often traced back to one or two roots. If you get it out now (or earlier in the season) before the seeds drop, you will significantly reduce the amount you will have next year.
Next spring you can go out and spot it and remove it while it is still small. Again, the roots are puny, and it's easy to remove. It's a pioneer plant, preferring disturbed areas, so you can also help keep it under control by establishing a more desirable ground cover.
I've never used herbicides so I can't help you there. Good luck, Sue
--
snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAMearthlink.net
Zone 6, South-central PA
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.