GAR­DEN­ING WITH DEBBI

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - Front Page - WITH DEBBI GIB­SON,

IF there is one task we spend more time on in the gar­den, it’s the bat­tle against weeds.

Weeds are a year round prob­lem, and if let go, they can mul­ti­ply and quickly take over an area.

While most plants are dor­mant dur­ing win­ter, some per­sis­tent weeds are start­ing to make an ap­pear­ance, such as cape­weed, sticky weed and Pater­son’s curse. Now is the time to tackle them. Cape­weed, some­times re­ferred to as daisies, is an an­nual flat weed with yel­low flow­ers.

It grows quickly reach­ing the size of din­ner plates when ma­ture.

They seed read­ily, so need to be con­trolled while still small.

Dig out in­di­vid­ual plants or spot spray with glyphosate.

Sticky weed, also known as Cleavers, is an an­nual creep­ing weed which is cov­ered in tiny sticky hairs which stick to vir­tu­ally ev­ery­thing.

They grow along the ground and over and through other gar­den plants.

It has tiny, star-shaped, white flow­ers, which emerge from early spring to sum­mer.

It seeds pro­lif­i­cally with one square me­tre of the plant pro­duc­ing about 250,000 seeds.

Spray with glyphosate or re­move by hand while small.

Pater­son’s curse, nick­named patto, fea­tures beau­ti­ful pur­ple and pink flow­ers.

It pro­duces many seeds which lay dor­mant in the soil ready to ger­mi­nate next win­ter.

Hand re­move or spot spray with glyphosate while still in the flat rosette stage.

Glyphosate is a non-se­lec­tive her­bi­cide.

It will kill ev­ery­thing it touches, in­clud­ing de­sired plants so ap­ply care­fully.

If a wanted plant is ac­ci­dently sprayed, wash off with a full wa­ter­ing can of wa­ter.

Another way to con­trol weeds is to use a se­lec­tive weed killer.

Th­ese con­trol broad leaf weeds and bindii with­out harm­ing lawn grasses. Don’t leave soil bare. Once the weeds have been re­moved, re­place them with plants that will pre­vent the weeds grow­ing back.

Ground­cov­ers block the light and pre­vent weed seeds from ger­mi­nat­ing. Mulching also sup­presses weeds. Cover the soil with thick news­pa­per af­ter weed­ing, wet it and cover with a thick layer of mulch to smother out weeds.

Con­trol­ling weeds as soon as they ap­pear is the best way to beat weeds.

Happy gar­den­ing.

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