“Garden plants are the biggest source of weeds in this country totalling 70% of Australia’s combined agricultural, noxious and natural ecosystem weeds”. (CSIRO 2005 Report ‘Jumping the Garden Fence’).
Weeds in the garden create a chore that needs to be attended to in order to keep our ornamental plants healthy and to make the garden more attractive. When plants become weeds in our bushland and waterways, however, they pose a much more serious problem. Governments and volunteers dedicate enormous resources to controlling invasive plants that destroy biodiversity.
What is a weed to one person is sometimes a boon for others. Some examples are dandelion and nettles. Weeds are just plants growing in the wrong place – often because they have been transported from another region or country where their growth was contained, but here, in different climatic and soil conditions they become rampant, preventing growth of plants we want. If a plant is “weedy” we usually mean that it will pop up everywhere, spread by seeds or underground runners.
Unfortunately for gardeners and horticulturalists, the major source of weeds invading natural areas is via the garden trade and home gardens. These weedy plants can overcome growth of indigenous species and even lead to their extinction.
Prevention is always better than a cure, so check out local weed lists (usually available form your local council office) and don’t plant them in your garden. If they are already there, try thick layers of newspaper topped by mulch and dense planting of what you want to grow.
Once weeds have appeared, methods of dealing with them range from hand-pulling to various types of sprays.
For information about some weeds try the following links: