Drought, Fire, Rain and Weeds

African lovegrass after the fires

African lovegrass taking advantage of bare ground after the fires

Bare soil is a weed’s best friend. Recent drought and fires have left plenty of bare ground across the Shire and with the help of winter rains we will see all the priority weed species emerge strongly this season as the weather warms up. These will include African lovegrass, Blackberry, Serrated tussock, St Johns Wort and other weeds. We can also expect them to flower and seed quickly as they take advantage of heightened soil moisture levels.

Jamie Dixon-Keay from Council recommends monitoring your known infestations of these weeds and preventing them from flowering as this will help reduce the seed bank in your soil. He also advises checking areas with no previous weed infestations as animals may have carried weed seeds into new areas with bare soil where weeds can quickly dominate native pastures and understorey. A weed removed in time will save you hours in the future and stop your native grassland or forest being degraded.

Bamboo stake with flagging tapeAs you walk around your property, take something to mark where you find weeds (like a bamboo stake with some flagging tape) so you can easily go back and control them when you have the right equipment, or take a weeding tool with you so you can chip them out on the spot. Leave the flag in place so you can check the area regularly for new seedlings.

For more information on weed species to look out for on your property, visit Council’s list of Priority Weeds for the South East. You can click on any weed name from the list to see photos and information to help with identification and for detailed suggestions on control methods.

To talk to someone from Council about weeds on your property and what to do about them, call 6499 2222 or email JDixon-Keay@begavalley.nsw.gov.au.

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