An update on the status of wild chervil. Depending on where the plants are sited, most of them have flowered by now and are setting seed. We’re at the point, in central Vermont, where those seeds are now likely viable. Or at least the risk of that is very real.
If you were unable to prevent the chervil from flowering, there is still something you can do to break that heavy seed rain. The seeds hang on for about another month yet as the plant dries out.
Theoretically, you can collect those seed heads and save yourself a lot of work or frustration next year. Don’t try to do this everywhere, but if there are places with only a few colonizing chervil plants, definitely act on them. The idea is to keep an infestation confined to a few hot spots rather than having it all over the place.
Don’t worry about pulling the plant – it should die off now that it has seeded- but do be pro-active and gather up those seed heads in a bucket or bag. And destroy them.
Once the seeds start to shake loose, however, stay out of wild chervil infestations; you’ll only be helping the plant spread to new locations if you get the seeds all over you and your equipment. Chervil seeds, black when dried out, stick to almost everything so it’s best to stay out of areas where you can see the old dry stalks at the end of summer. Even be aware that the soil likely contains viable seeds, in great numbers.