Chris Noon - Still Creek Landcare
What is a weed?
A plant in the wrong place. But take the Agapanthus in the photo: some people put these in and others pull them out and this definition still applies.
Where do weeds come from?
They can be blown in by the wind, carried by water, dropped by animals, hitchhike a ride as a stowaway from overseas shipments. They can be planted as an ornamental and become garden escapes or just from existing seeds laying dormant until the time is right to germinate.
What can we do about weeds?
Obviously this depends on the size of the area and the terrain. Here are some suggestions.
– Use physical barriers such as logs or silt fencing to separate good from bad areas while you manage the bad ones
– Use 50mm of mulch to keep the sun out and stop the weeds growing
– Work from good to bad areas and prioritise keeping good areas good rather than embarking on new bad areas
– Work from high to low areas to minimise water-borne seeds flowing downhill – Prioritise high area-to-perimeter ratio, weeding locations to minimise the amount of weedy edges
– Hand weed when the soil is moist and loose to make it easier and use the best technique for the weed such as crowning (saves digging) or rhizome tracing
– Use alternatives to hand weeding to get more done using herbicides, boiling water, and flame killing
– Use a cut (with knife or saw) and paint (brush on liquid herbicide directly and quickly) technique
– Spraying with a targeted herbicide would be less harmful to other species because a generic herbicide will kill everything and leave the ground bare for worse weeds
– What if I don’t have the time? Just take the seed heads or flowers off and bag them so this season’s seeds aren’t around to grow.
The main thing is, to observe and take note of what works. Progress can be slow but is always rewarding.
Are you looking to improve your property? Are you interested in free Native Plants for your project?