OUR WEEDS

This page has an outline of our general weed control strategies just below this note, then some information on specific "wicked weeds" further down.  The common name of each wicked weed also contains a link to Agriculture Victoria resources on that plant. 

 

Click here for a brief history of weed control at WCG.

OUR GENERAL WEED CONTROL STRATEGY / GUIDELINES

 

The general approach to weed control at WCG is physical removal, then depending on the weed either composting (plant material) or removal from the site ("wicked weeds") via FOGO bins.  Heavily diseased plant material should also go into the FOGO bins.

Organic weed sprays may be used by the Garden Manager or at their direction to control rhizomous grass (kikuyu and couch in particular) encroachment across long sections of garden borders.

Non organic sprays such as those based on glyphosate (eg Roundup) are used only in the most limited circumstances, and even then only with specific committee endorsement.  Even if endorsed for a particular purpose, if anywhere near food crops this will only be applied by painting not spraying.

As a general rule we compost most plant material, including weeds that are not designated as "wicked weeds".

  • Bins are left around the Garden to help members transport weeds.  DO NOT mix normal materials and wicked weeds in these bins.

  • Members are expected to empty bins into compost bays at the end of each gardening session.

  • "Wicked Weeds" are to be placed in FOGO bins at the end of each gardening session.

  • "Wicked Weeds" are rhizomous grasses (kikuyu and couch) and the other weeds listed below.

  • Our composting method is cold composting which will NOT kill seeds or extremely hardy rhizomes.  We don't hot compost because we simply don't accumulate sufficient brown matter in a short enough period of time to make this possible.

  • Members are expected to keep pathways adjoining their plots weed free as well as their plot.  Work with your neighbours on this.  The same expectation applies to the various communal gardening groups.

WICKED WEEDS

ENEMY NUMBER 1:  PAMPAS LILY OF THE VALLEY

Salpichroa origanifolia

The link above shows what an invasive weed this can be.  Unfortunately our site hits all of its favourite conditions - alkaline sandy soil and not too wet.  Unlike our other wicked weeds this plant will kill plants the size of our sheoaks by smothering them if left to run.  In 2019 it started being seen in garden beds after a break of a few years.  It needs to be eradicated completely by plot holders and community gardening groups if they find it in plots.  When physically removed, all parts of the plant must go into a "wicked weeds" bin.  

ENEMY NUMBER 2:  KIKUYU

Pennisetum clandestinum

Kikuyu is the grass that makes up most of our lawns.  It was on the site before WCG took possession, and as a lawn works well.  However it is not an organism that respects boundaries in any way and will almost always find a way to go over, under or through.  Luckily it is easy to remove from non-compacted soil, especially if biomass has not been allowed to build up.  When physically removed, all parts of the plant must go into a "wicked weeds" bin, since it will re-grow from just a small piece of rhizome.

** The same comments are applicable to kikuyu's skinnier cousin, couch grass.  Essentially any grassy plant that grows from a rhizome needs to be kept out of your plot and adjoining paths.

ENEMY NUMBER 3: BLACKBERRY

Rubus spp.

Blackberry is more of an issue in the quarry and other little-used areas of the site, but still makes appearances in garden beds occasionally.  This is probably from bird droppings.

As with most bramble berries, blackberry will grow from a relatively small section of cane.  Any pieces of plant or root need to be placed in a FOGO bin.