Know what you’re planting this spring
Spring is here and with it comes the urge to get out into the garden and do some tidying up.
As you clear areas of weeds you may want to fill these bare areas with new plants, but where is the safest place to get them from without introducing more weeds?
Greater Wellington Regional Council wants to remind folks that only garden centres, supermarkets, florists and pet shops are checked annually for pest plants listed in the National Pest Plant Accord (NPPA).
Biosecurity officer Ben Winder says plants such as Mexican daisy, privet, and pampas grass are some of the 100 or so plants included in the NPPA and are all banned from sale, propagation and distribution nationally.
‘‘These were once desirable garden plants but are now looked upon as environmental menaces. Wellington’s landscape is littered with once desirable garden plants that have spread from our gardens and are quietly smothering or pushing aside our native plants. Darwin’s barberry on the Wellington City hills is a prime example.’’
Greater Wellington carries out inspections of plant outlets in the Wellington region on behalf of MAF Biosecurity New Zealand. Plants at these outlets usually have name tags on them, whereas plants at market stalls and school galas often do not, therefore it is important that you know what you are buying.
If you are thinking of selling or buying plants an easy way to find out what is on the list is to go to the MAF Biosecurity website – biosecurity.govt.nz. This lists all the plants in the NPPA and has pictures of them.
A little bit of research in the short term may save you a lot of time removing weeds in the long run.
For more information visit gw.govt.nz.