Let him who would enjoy a good future waste none of his present
– Roger Babson
We often think of weeds as those annoying perennial pests like thistles and sour sobs; however, the truth is that any plants growing at a site where it is not wanted can be regarded as a weed. This can include trees, bushes, grasses, herbs and even native plants when growing outside of their natural range. Weeds often smother out and compete for resources with indigenous plants, as well as degrade and destroy habitats, leaving the wildlife dependent on these habitats vulnerable.
We live in an amazingly multicultural country, but it is not just people who have made their home here; many species of plants from around the globe have become an integral part of our gardens. Some plants are grown for food, others for prosperity and some for their beauty and ability to remind people of their heritage. No matter the reason for their being, sadly these plants often become pests. They escape from our gardens into areas where they do not belong and overtake areas of native bushland, threatening both plants and animals.
What can I do?
There are many steps we as individuals can take in ensuring that we do not allow our plants to become garden escapees. We can help by reducing the impact of current weeds on our native plants and animals, three simple steps are:
- Plant a native garden, ensuring that all the plants within your yard are suited to your regional area, if you’re unsure ask a local nursery or do online research to guide plant choice.
- Ensure your garden is a ‘backyard 4 wildlife’, giving our native animals a safe place to live is fundamental to countering the damage done to habitats by weeds.
- Get familiar with weeds, you may be surprised by how many you already know—even from your own garden. When removing weeds use methods to prevent further spread. This can include removing before the plant goes to seed, sealing removed plants in bags until dead and then disposing, using a green waste bin or compost heap for disposal.
- Pest Plants – an in-depth listing and bio of all weeds within Adelaide and the Mt Lofty Ranges created by Adelaide and Mt Lofty Natural Resources.
- Environmental weeds of Adelaide and the Mt Lofty Ranges – a picture guide to environmental weeds in the area with a small bio on each for seasonal flowering and how they’re spread.
- Weed Species A-Z – a comprehensive list of all weeds identified by the Australian Government, including pictures, bios, impact and methods of removal.