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Weeds and herbicides

Unfortunately not all plant life is welcome in our gardens.  We often have two types of weeds in amongst our garden.

  1. Weeds that are easily identified and we dig them out
  2. Weeds that we plant but are unaware of their weed status

For many, the quest to create maintenance free gardens can sometimes result in us choosing harmful weeds as plants. Not only can these be detrimental to the environment, but they can drain our precious water resources.

To ensure you don’t make the mistake of planting a harmful weed in your garden we recommend you read great publications like ‘Grow Me Instead’. This resource can help you make the right decisions for your front or backyard.  One of City West Water’s expert garden workshop hosts, Helen Tuton, is amongst many experts that have contributed to this publication and together with Sustainable Gardening Australia continues to advocate the need for weed awareness and eradication.

If you do find there are unwanted weed species lurking within your garden, most can be easily removed by moistening the soil and digging them out. Other stubborn weeds however may require chemical intervention in the form of a herbicide.

Grow Me Instead’ has useful information on using herbicides in gardens and here are a few important points to keep in mind:

  • Herbicides are poisons and therefore should be handled with care.
  • Glyphosate is the most common product used on residential properties and is available under various trade names, including Zero Weedkill and Roundup.
  • To ensure your safety and that of others make certain the herbicide is kept locked up and in its original labelled container.
  • Always read the instructions fully before you start as there are laws governing its correct use.
  • Never use herbicides around children or pets as exposure can lead to serious health issues.
  • Be extremely careful around waterways and drains as herbicides should not enter these areas.
  • Protect yourself – always wear protective clothing such as gloves, goggles, long pants and sleeves, even a hat.  Over protection is far safer than being unprepared.
  • The application method used can include
    • Simply applying directly to foliage.
    • Cutting and painting solid branches/stumps.
    • Drilling holes into stems/ trunks of larger problem plants.
  • For best results apply when plants are –
    • In their growing stage and don’t appear under stress.
    • Not in extreme heat or cold conditions.
    • Not exposed to the heat of the day.
    • Not in wet or windy conditions.

One Comment

  1. Posted 1st February, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Permalink
    Wendy Short
    Wendy Short says:

    Hi, I have recently retired and would like to spend a bit more than zero time in my little Footscray garden! I have just found this site (very interesting!), but I cannot see anything about maintenance, repair of lawns. My South facing front lawn has bare soil patches, some mossy type weeds and a range of other weeds. Can you guide me to any information about lawns? Thank you, Wendy.

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