Umbrella trees are a nuisance and spread quickly.
Umbrella trees are a nuisance and spread quickly.

Be vigilant to prevent garden weeds

WITH such a wet start to winter, and plenty of sunshine now, our gardens are flourishing.

All of the spring flowers are appearing, and all looks good in the gardening world.

Unfortunately, that means the weeds - gardeners' pet hates - can be seen all over the roadsides and hillsides, making proper spectacles of themselves.

That's hardly something we want or need, so our strongest recommendation for this week is to start working hard to eliminate all the weeds you find, both inside and outside your fenceline.

Some residents have the attitude that their rates should cover roadside weeds, but a little common sense should prevail.

If those folk stop to think, if we demand more all the time, our rates will go up even more.

So, weeding our own immediate "neighbourhood" might make a lot of sense - and the sooner we do it, the sooner it's fixed.

Think about it!

A short walk in our own precinct came up with an enormous range of weeds recently - umbrella trees, ageratum, morning glory, lantana, thistles, cobblers' pegs and hosts more.

We also noticed some patches of nutweed, so that horribly invasive plant needs urgent attention.

Remember to take a large rubbish bag, a gardening fork or spade, secateurs, gardening gloves and your choice of weedkiller for those "impossible to eliminate any other way" weeds.

The most popular choice these days is glyphosate-based Zero or Roundup, and either of these or the equivalent brands should be used on a very still day to avoid spray drift on to your wanted plants.

In the event you do accidentally spray those, thoroughly wash them down immediately with fresh water.

In areas where spraying could threaten wanted plants, paint it on to the leaves.

If plants are very large, such as spreading bamboo, well-grown thistles or any other large growers, cut them back to almost ground level, then as they start to send up new growth, apply the weedkiller.

We found that method ideal for bamboo, and in fact, fertilised it after cut-back, encouraging strong growth habit, then sprayed Zero, which was absorbed quickly and worked well.

The best way to keep weeds at bay is to spend about an hour a week with a one, three-pronged or dutch hoe, eliminating the small weed growth, and you'll keep them down easily.


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