Delray Beach is asking residents to get into the weeds Saturday to help remove a pesky plant.
The city’s Parks and Recreation Department is hosting an “Attack the Air Potato” day where volunteers are invited to help remove the exotic, invasive air potato vine that overpowers and smothers native plants.
In Delray, the biggest outbreaks of air potato have been seen at Barwick Park, 735 Barwick Road, and Orchard View Park, 4060 Old Germantown Road.Now, the city is calling on residents to put on their gardening gloves from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday to help keep the exotic vine under control at both parks.
To help combat the plant, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department released air potato leaf beetles in June 2014. The city received the beetles, which are also native to Asia, from the University of Florida’s rearing facility in Fort Lauderdale.The beetles help control the air potato and within two weeks of their release city officials said the beetles were doing their job.
But recently, the air potato is growing about eight inches per day and the beetles can’t keep up, city officials said.