Bass Coast,
03
October
2013
|
07:39
Australia/Melbourne

Spring Into Weeds For Free Plants

Bass+Coast+Shire+Council+is+asking+residents+to+rid+their+gardens+of+weeks%2C+such+as+Agapanthus%2C+in+exchange+for+indigenous+plants.

People across Bass Coast are being urged to weed bust their way through spring!

Urban residents and landowners are being offered free indigenous plants to encourage them to join the battle against weeds. Bass Coast Shire Council, Bass Coast Landcare Network, Phillip Island Nature Parks and volunteer groups have all been busy controlling weeds across the Shire.

“Spring is a great time to deal with environmental weeds, because the life cycle of many plants means that they are vulnerable at this time,” Council’s Natural Resources Officer, David Martin, said

“Many environmental weed outbreaks in our bushland reserves originate from plants that have spread from private properties. Some of these have spread from private gardens by seeds transported by the wind, water or animals.”

Mr Martin urged private landholders to do their bit to reduce the impact of garden weed escapes.

“We want people to take advantage of the’Weed ‘em and reap’ campaign that we are running,” Mr Martin said.

“In this program, residents from Bass Coast townships will be provided with free indigenous plants as a reward for removing identified problem species from their gardens.”

Council Deputy Mayor, Cr Neil Rankine, encouraged residents to get involved in ‘Weed ‘em and reap’ and banish weeds from their own gardens.

“I love walking around the wonderful array of walking tracks we have in Bass Coast and it's disappointing when you come across large areas where invasive weeds have taken over,” Cr Rankine said.

“It's expensive to treat this and the values that were once there are often hard to get back after treatment. We need to consider how easy it is for a few seeds, blown, swept or carried into our bushland reserves, to create quite a problem.”

Mr Martin said often weeds are easier to identify when they are flowering, so spring is a perfect time to target them.

“Creepers, such as Cape Ivy and Dolichos, are sometimes inconspicuous when growing amongst the canopy of trees and shrubs when they are not in flower,” Mr Martin said.

“For other weeds, like Bridal Creeper and Asparagus Fern, spraying them when they are active over these months means that future shooting will be kept to a minimum.

“Some of the more serious invasive species are quite common in gardens and include Agapanthus, Cotoneaster, Sweet Pittosporum, Arum Lily and Bluebell Creeper.”

Mr Martin said the work that people did in their own gardens was an important part of the overall weed control strategy for the Shire.

“We know that weeds can spread from private gardens and threaten the natural ecosystems,”Mr Martin said.

“Weeds can invade native plant communities and over-run them.  In the worst case scenario, this could mean the loss of some plant species and the habitat for some of our native animals.”

Weeds cannot be disposed off as green waste, but can be disposed with general waste at Transfer Stations.

For details of the ’Weed ‘em and reap’ offer, please visit Council’s website www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/weedem or contact Council on 1300 BCOAST (226 278).