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Gardening Australia's Jerry Coleby-Williams has been asked to advise the Brisbane City Council on footpath garden regulations. I think it's about bloody time we did this, London has been doing it for 35 years and it's survived as a culture and I think Brisbane is ready to join the 1980s. Videos show prison guards stripping, assaulting and mistreating the teenage boy while he was in youth detention in the Northern Territory.
The NT detains young people at a rate three times higher than the other states and territories. ABC reporter Kate Wild has been covering the treatment of children in the NT juvenile justice system for years.
From suggestive banana eating to singing a€” Chinese 'stream queens' make a fortune by broadcasting their lives to millions. This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced. SERIES 25 Episode 23Jane gets some essential work done just before spring"Spring is just around the corner and it's one of the last opportunities we have to get out into the garden to do some really essential jobs like pruning and maintenance," says Jane.She's ready to renovate a perennial border. Copyright Restrictions: This fact sheet is for private and domestic information purposes only. Links to sites that may interest you, including botanical gardens, private gardens, and gardening societies in your state.
Comprehensive information on what to grow and how to grow it, plus great gardens, design ideas and stories from the show. Gardening Australia Magazine, September 2013No matter what your garden looks like, everyone grapples with weeds. SERIES 24 Episode 03Jerry introduces us to an inspiring young gardenerSometimes, the inspiration to be a gardener strikes early and that's just what happened with Brandon O'Neill. Gardeners in Australia’s subtropics often find that advice about vegetable planting is invariably given for the colder, southern parts of the country. SERIES 22 Episode 21COLIN CAMPBELL: In 2008, a devastating storm cut a swath through Brisbane. Dumfries is a 13,200 hectare cattle property about 200 kilometres south of Longreach, far west Queensland. Although hardiness varies considerably, most abelias are not suitable in areas with severe winters. Chinese lanterns are most suited to areas with mild winters, because while they are tolerant of moderate frosts, the bark and thin stems will split with repeated freezing. Most acacias are fast growers and are useful plants for restoring vegetation to denuded areas, as well as being suitable for ornamental or landscape usethough their quick growth habit is offset by a short life. Although a few maples are found in subtropical regions, most generally prefer climates with distinct seasons. These hardy deciduous trees are most at home in climates with clearly defined seasons and relatively moist summers. Mostly very hardy and easily cultivated, these plants like moist well-drained soil and a position in sun or part-shade.
Very hardy and easily grown in normal garden soils, many birches are natural riverside plants that can tolerate quite damp conditions. Hardiness varies though none will tolerate prolonged frosty winters, and late frosts can devastate the new growth.
Camellias can be quite frost hardy, but since many are winter- or early spring-blooming, prolonged winters can damage the flowers. Mature Catalpa trees are frost hardy but young plants and the spring growth are easily damaged. Hardiness varies, but all species tolerate moderate frosts and are easily grown in any sunny position with moist well-drained soil.
Cedars are tough adaptable trees and although they prefer a climate with distinct seasons and are fairly frost hardy, they will not withstand extremely cold or very prolonged winters. These hardy adaptable trees are tolerant of a wide range of soil and climatic conditions but generally do best with moist, slightly acidic soil and fairly cool moist summers. Most dogwoods need winter cold to flower well and are at home in a climate with distinct seasons. Most Deutzia species are frost hardy, preferring fertile soil, a sheltered position, and sun during the day. Hardiness varies; the tougher types become deciduous if exposed to frost, the more tender simply die. Most Gardenia species perform best in a well-drained, humus-rich, acidic soil in a sunny or partly shaded position. Plant grevilleas in a sunny position with light, gritty, free-draining soil that is low in phosphates. Hibiscus vary greatly in hardiness, but most are frost tender and are susceptible to drought.
Hypericum species are hardy and are easily grown in any free-draining soil in a position in sun or partial shade. Hollies are mostly very hardy and adaptable plants that grow well in a sunny or partly shaded position, though the variegated forms do best in full sun.
Hardiness varies; all will tolerate repeated frosts but the toughest species can survive subarctic winters and may also prefer correspondingly cool summers. Lavender plants are excellent for containers and hedges, and will perform best if planted in a bright sunny position. Generally fast growing and mostly hardy, magnolias are easily grown in any fertile, moist, humus-rich, well-drained soil, and do best in a lightly shaded position that offers protection from damaging wind and frosts.
Malus species and cultivars thrive in temperate to cool-temperate climates and grow best in a position in full sun in deep, fertile, humus-rich soil that remains moist.
Mostly too large for small gardens, the southern beeches are otherwise adaptable trees that respond well to cultivation.
Proteas need an open, sunny, well-ventilated position and a climate that experiences most rainfall in winter. Mostly very hardy, but prone to flower damage through late frosts, Prunus are reliable trees that, with the exceptions of apricots, peaches, and nectarines, will fruit well even in areas with cool summers.
In general, rhododendrons prefer acidic soils, high in organic matter and freely draining in a partly shaded position. Like the Rhododendron species, the deciduous azalea hybrids prefer acidic soils, high in organic matter and freely draining in a partly shaded position.
Like the Rhododendron species, the evergreen azalea hybrids prefer acidic soils, high in organic matter and freely draining, in a position in part-shade.
In common with most heath family plants, rhododendrons prefer acidic soils, high in organic matter and freely draining, in a partly shaded position. As robinias have brittle branches that can be easily damaged by strong winds, it may be necessary to plant them in a protected spot.
Most roses are very frost hardy, though only the toughest will survive severe continental winters. Roses can be grown in formal and informal settings, in separate beds or mixed borders, as groundcovers, climbing up arches and pergolas, as hedging, and in containers. Most Sorbus species are very hardy and prefer a cool climate, suffering in high summer temperatures. Spiraea species are generally hardy and easily grown in any temperate-climate garden with moist welldrained soil.
Lilacs are hardy and easily grown in well-drained, sandy and gravelly, preferably slightly alkaline soil. Yews are hardy and undemanding trees that grow well in cool areas with deep, moist, well-drained soil. Tilia species are hardy adaptable trees that tolerate most soils provided they are deep and moist. Elms are tough adaptable trees that do well in most soils, provided that there is adequate drainage. Mostly viburnums are very hardy, and are easily grown in any sunny or partly shaded position with moist well-drained soil. SERIES 23 Episode 11Big pots, tiny pots, pots filled with colour, unusual pots, pots hanging up and pots lying down - Colin visited an amazing garden that's overflowing with potted plants and they're the life's work of a very passionate gardener - Eileen Burton.Eileen started gardening when she was 'knee-high to a grasshopper,' collecting seedlings to re-plant on her family's farm. It may not be copied, reproduced, sold or used for any other purpose without the express permission of the ABC. It could be the wrong kind of grass coming up in a single species lawn – here I have a vision of my brother-in-law crawling around on his hands and knees applying glyphosate to rogue grass leaves with a little paintbrush.
He was only 10 years old when he first discovered the joys of gardening."I got really into it, passionate about it, about three years ago when I saw the Gardening Australia program and I saw them growing vegies in containers," Brandon explained. But Colin lives in Queensland, a couple of hours north of Brisbane, and he’s got some tips for vegetables to plant in autumn, which will be ready for winter harvesting. It looks great now, but I came here to Roma Street Parkland back then to see what damage had been done. Plant in fertile moist soil in a sunny or partly shaded position and water well until established, particularly if the planting site is in an exposed position. They perform best when grown in a sunny or partly shaded position with a humus-rich well-drained soil that remains moist through the growing season. Some banksias are moderately frost tolerant and once established, most will withstand dry conditions. They will do best in well-drained fertile soil, with some moisture, and a position in full sun or part-shade.
They are easy to grow, undemanding in their requirements, and produce attractive foliage and abundant colorful flowers.
Most bottlebrushes prefer moist, well-drained, slightly acid soil in a sunny position and are only marginally frost tolerant. Shaded or semi-shaded positions, acid to neutral soils, dry winters, and wet summers suit the majority. Also, hail and strong winds will tear the large leaves, so young trees are best planted in a sheltered sunny position. Plant in a position in full sun or part-shade with fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil, and water well during the warmer months.
Once established, the plant needs to be mulched well and the roots should not be disturbed.
Any trimming and thinning should be done immediately after flowering to avoid lessening the next seasons show. Hardiness varies with the species, though none will tolerate repeated severe frosts or prolonged wintersthey are best suited to warm-temperate or semi-arid regions, and they are drought tolerant once established. Plant in a sheltered position in part-shade or shade with moist, humus-rich, fertile, well-drained soil.
Although drought tolerant once established, they flower more freely and the foliage is healthier for occasional deep watering.
Most hebes prefer a sunny position and will tolerate a wide range of soil conditionshebes are not fussy about the soil type, provided it is well-drained. They will perform best in a position in full sun with a moist, humus-enriched, well-drained soil.
Most garden hydrangeas are tough plants that thrive in moist, humus-rich, well-drained soil.
A lightly shaded position is best, or at least one protected from the hottest sun, and they appreciate additional water during dry periods.
However, their large size requires a reasonable space in which to grow, so they are best suited to large gardens or parks. The plants are very frost hardy, though late frosts when in bloom can affect the fruit crop.
They are tolerant of a range of climatic conditions, but are unable to withstand extreme frosts, and do not cope well with salty coastal winds.
They do best in a position in full sun, partial shade, or in deciduous open woodland in moist well-drained soil.
Spruces are generally slowgrowing trees, but they are usually able to withstand winds, and make excellent windbreaks for large gardens and parks. Many pines are too large or too untidy for domestic gardens, but they make excellent windbreaks and are perhaps better suited to larger properties or open spaces.

While they can adapt to poor and compacted soils, they prefer a deep moisture-retentive soil in a sunny open position. They need a gravelly, sandy, or basaltic loam that is very free-draining and generally acid. Most oaks are too large and ground robbing for small gardens but are magnificent specimen trees for large gardens, arboretums, and parks. Most prefer some protection from wind, sun, and frost, but there are some that can withstand these conditions. While most prefer some protection from wind, sun, and frost, many others tolerate these conditions. The evergreen azalea hybrids do well in warmer temperate climates, where the risk of frost is minimal. Otherwise, these are hardy, easily cultivated trees that will thrive in any bright position with moist well-drained soil. They should be planted in a well-ventilated sunny position to lessen the risk of fungal diseases and to promote heavy flowering. They flower best if positioned in a sunny spot but in areas with hot summers they may need a little shade. They grow best in areas with distinct seasons, and will do best if planted in a position in full sun. Most species prefer a climate with clearly defined seasons, and do best when planted in a position in full sun.
Some species are drought tolerant, but all will appreciate additional water during the hotter months. It hasn't been pruned for a couple of years, but that's OK because the perennials here - like salvias, lavenders, liriopes and ceratostigmas - if you prune them now, you'll find that their shape will be much neater and more manageable and you'll get many more flowers.""Gardeners can be a little bit anxious about pruning, but with a little bit of knowledge and experience, it becomes quite easy. Or it could be something nastier such as bindies in a lawn, stinging nettles in a garden bed, or turkey rhubarb smothering everything in a forgotten corner.Weeds are increasingly becoming a problem in bushland where they are known as ‘environmental weeds’.
Summer in the subtropics is warm and humid so don't bother planting lettuce because they run to seed almost immediately. Often the night time temperature drops to lows of minus five and in the daytime it can reach the high 40s. Pruning should be undertaken to keep the plant looking tidy whilst maintaining its natural arching habit.
Plant in a sunny or partly shaded position with moist, humus-rich, well-drained soil, and water well during the growing season. Although drought tolerant, once established most grow better with reliable summer moisture. Some species need dappled shade to preserve their foliage from summer scorching, but some can tolerate exposure to drying winds.
The larger-growing species are best suited to parklands and open landscapes, but there are many smaller-growing species to select from that are suited to garden conditions and space restrictions. Trim as required; they may be used for hedging, but are best planted away from areas that have frequent pedestrian use, as they have fierce thorns. The deciduous species are hardier than the evergreens, though none will tolerate prolonged severe winters. Regular trimming will keep the plants tidy, and encourage bushier growth and greater flower production in the next season.
Prune young plants; adult plants need little pruning apart from removing spent flowerheads.
Propagate the multi-stemmed species by layering of sucker growths, from hardwood cuttings taken in summer or autumn, or from seed, which should be cleaned of flesh and cold-stratified for at least 3 months.
Small-leafed species prefer light conditions, while those with larger leaves need some shade from the hottest sun. The winter-growing heaths are lime tolerant and will grow in alkaline soil, while the summer-flowering ones like acid soil; both types can be grown in neutral soil. They are surface-rooting trees, and the selected planting site should be in a sheltered spot as they are prone to blowing over in strong gales.
Propagation is from half-hardened cuttings; a few cultivars are grafted, and the species may be raised from seed. The annuals are best grown from seed, while perennial varieties of hibiscus are propagated from seed or by division. They are ideal plants for shrub borders and make interesting container plants; some of the low-growing species are ideal for rock gardens.
Propagation is usually from half-hardened cuttings as the seed must be stratified, takes a long time to germinate, and the sex of the seedling remains unknown until flowering.
Hardiness varies with the species and some are quite tender; hardy species should be pruned after flowering.
They do best in a bright sunny position with deep, fertile, well-drained soil that remains moist in summer. Cultivated apples need pruning in winter and regular spraying to protect against a variety of pests and diseases. Plant in a sunny position with well-drained soil that can be kept moist until the trees are well established. They require little pruning apart from a little tidying up when young in order to establish a single trunk. Providing their cultivation requirements are met, they are relatively undemanding once established, and will tolerate light frosts.
While most prefer some protection from wind and sun, many others tolerate these conditions. Some flower on the old wood and should be pruned immediately after flowering; others flower on the current seasons growth and may be trimmed in winter. In Europe and North America, Dutch elm disease, a fungal infection spread by beetle larvae, has devastated these stately trees. Common garden plants such as agapanthus, English ivy, African olives, asparagus fern, and cotoneaster have become environmental weeds of national parks, reserves and creeks. So the cucumbers started producing and since then I've been hooked."Now he's 16, Brandon loves gardening more than ever - especially when it comes to growing food. The winter months are mainly dry and cool so this is the best time for vegie growing because the climatic conditions are working in the subtropical gardener's favour. Over 70 trees and up to 80 percent of some of the understorey plantings were lost and a lot of the soil was washed away too.After 2 and half years though, the gardens have certainly recovered. But hidden behind some hedging plants is a magnificent garden that is a contrast to the surrounding countryside. Trim to shape in late winter or spring, removing the cane ends and also some of the basal shoots in order to allow room for new growth. The species are raised from seed, which is best sown fresh, and the cultivars are grafted in late winter.
When planting camellias, be mindful that they are long-lived; allow adequate room for their growth.
The species are propagated from seed sown in autumn; the cultivars from softwood cuttings taken in late spring or early summer. A number of the ornamental cultivars and some of the smaller-growing species are suitable for use as hedging.
The large-bracted species can be raised from seed (stratified), half-hardened cuttings in summer, or by grafting in the case of prized cultivars.
Feed container-grown plants monthly during the growing season and give them plenty of water, reducing both feed and water during the dormant season. They can be trimmed to shape if needed, but bare wood should not be cut as it rarely sprouts. Propagate from seed, which should be collected as soon as ripe and sown the following spring.
Powdery mildew can be a problem with these trees, but the newer cultivars are more disease resistant.
Lavenders are usually propagated from tip cuttings in spring or half-hardened cuttings in autumn. Plant in a sunny or partly shaded position with moist humus-rich soil and water well until established.
Pruning is generally unnecessary, and these trees do best if left to develop their natural form. Propagation is from seed, cuttings, or grafting; the hybrid cultivars are usually propagated from cuttings. Cultivars are propagated by grafting, which unfortunately may help to further spread Dutch elm disease.
Lavender can often cause problems because lavender is a sub-shrub - it behaves both as an herbaceous perennial and as a woody shrub.
According to the federal Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, two thirds of the almost 3000 introduced plant species known to be established in the Australian environment are garden escapees! He's taken charge of the garden on his family's two-hectare sloping block located south of Brisbane on the Logan River. Lindy Hardie and her husband, David, established the garden at Dumfries eight years ago, after moving from Jandowae on the Darling Downs. Propagation is from seed or softwood cuttings in early summer or from half-hardened cuttings later in summer. Propagate by taking half-hardened cuttings in mid- to late summer, or by layering in spring. Cultivars are propagated from softwood cuttings in spring or half-hardened cuttings in late summer.
Propagate from half-hardened cuttings in late spring and summer, though the species may also be raised from seed. Grow Hydrangea macrophylla cultivars to suit the soil pHcolor can be changed by dressing with aluminium sulphate for blue blooms and with lime for red blooms.
Propagation is mainly from softwood cuttings taken in spring or half-hardened cuttings taken in summer. Firm-tip cuttings taken in late summer through to winter may be struck, but these may be slow to strike, and layering is the easiest propagation option. Propagate from seed or half-hardened cuttings in summer, or from hardwood cuttings in early winter. Propagate from softwood cuttings taken in summer, or hardwood cuttings taken in autumn and winter.
Propagate the fruiting plants by grafting, and the ornamental plants by grafts or in some cases by cuttings. Some pruning may need to be undertaken when the tree is young, in order to establish a single trunk.
While cuttings will strike, the cultivars are usually grafted onto seedling stocks to ensure superior root systems. Keep a watchful eye out for fireblight, as this can cause significant damage to these trees. Colin observes that Eileen has used plastic-pot hanging baskets which tend to not dry out as quickly as others. This means it has soft green growth at the top, but over the years it will turn into woody growth in the middle of the plant. According to Weeds Australia, one garden escapee – lantana (Lantana spp.) – now degrades more than 4 million hectares of the environment.
I caught up with him to ask how his garden started."Well, after we cleared out all the lantana, I had to build above-ground beds, so I put three main beds in. Lindy says the greatest challenge of gardening in the outback is the heat in summer when burning winds take moisture out of the plant leaves and they curl in on themselves.When the couple moved to the property there was no garden.
Propagate from softwood cuttings taken in summer, half-hardened cuttings in autumn, or from seed.
Propagation is usually from cuttingssoftwood in summer or hardwood in winterthough the species may be raised from seed. These pots are also self-watering which means Eileen can check the moisture by putting her finger into the watering reservoir to check for dryness.Back GardenColin is amazed when they move down to the backyard.
What I'm aiming to do is to take the flower heads off and about seven to ten centimetres of the tip growth.""With all the sub-shrubs, don't cut into the old wood because the old wood can take a long time to break into bud again.

Even native plants such as Cootamundra wattle (Acacia baileyana) have become weeds after being planted outside their natural range.Weeds are often the first to colonise disturbed ground. I transplanted a lot of plants from my old garden and since then I've just been adding different beds along the way."Brandon's garden has amazing diversity for one that's only six months old. Even then, it might still end up leggy and lopsided and never really recover it's form."Jane moves on to one of the ornamental sages. They can invade after a natural disaster such as a flood or drought, or they can just as easily take hold in a newly dug garden bed. In one bed alone, he's growing about a dozen types of lettuce, mountain spinach, different types of basil, celery - how did he manage it?"Well a lot of plants are from my friends, so as soon as a space pops up, I'll pop in another plant," Brandon said.
Gardens in the west are transient, unless there is someone who is passionate about them,” Lindy said. Eileen only needs to water them in dry weather - just a little however, as she thinks they're better off with any added water. He told me he doesn't clear the bed every season, but experiments with his plants."Yes, a lot of them are experimental, like the red spinach (Red Mountain Spinach, Atriplex hortensis var.
I'll lopped off some of the branches, but I'm using that as a main feature of this particular garden.
When herbaceous perennial plants have plenty of leaves and a good flush of flowers you might be reluctant to prune.
Also mignonette lettuce seedlings, rather than the hearting varieties, broccoli, sugar loaf cabbage, and beetroot - plant them as either seedlings or seeds.
The biggest impression on me was watching my mother struggle to create a garden through the 60s drought, and the bore water wasn't suitable.
Learn this about them and you will have the tools you need to combat them effectively.Some members of a plant genus may become weeds, while others will not.
Often the seeds are impregnated in a tape (called seed tape) and this means they're evenly spaced for planting so you can't go wrong, just put them in the ground tape, and all – the tape decomposes.
The tree behind me was actually ripped in half by the storm, so I had to prune it back and I'm allowing it to grow, but its height will be controlled so that I don't want to shade the garden.There's another fig tree down at Spectacle Garden which was leaning over badly as a result of the storm, so I have propped it using a steel girdle and I've camouflaged the girdle by installing plant containers, right down on both sides, filling them up with bromeliads and that is a feature in that part of the garden as well.
They had just built a new home and the dust used to whistle through the house and it was a really hard eight years waiting to get a garden going,” she said.One of the original plants in Lindy’s garden is an oleander, or what she calls the rose of the west because “they are always in flower and need hardly any water”. You'll often find down in the centre of the plant there's plenty of new growth - that's where to cut it back to." Hard pruning leaves the slate clean for spring growth and summer flowers. The back corner of the garden has a different microclimate that Brandon's using to his advantage."This area gets a lot of sun and extremely hot, dry winds, so I've got stuff that can cope with that, like corn and snake beans," Brandon said. For success in the vegie patch Colin gives some tips that “you won't find in the gardening books”. Lindy first started creating the garden on the western side of the house because the road trains on the main road created phenomenal dust. It keeps me busy and I hate being unoccupied.' And does she believe that gardening is good for your health? He's also got watermelon and chillies doing well, but the bad news is he's got to hand water the area - which takes him an hour a day!
He suggests making a special 50 centimetre marking stick, and laying it between the old row and what will be the new row, to ensure they are the right space apart.To sow the seeds follow the directions on the pack. He's also trying to get his friends involved in discovering exactly where food comes from."Yeah, I'm trying to get some friends of mine into gardening. But sprinkle a few radish seeds along the row because they will germinate in a few days and act as a marker, so you don’t chop into your wanted vegetables when you're hoeing between the rows.
Superba hybrids can all be rejuvenated yearly with a hard prune.However, Jane says not all salvias should be pruned the same way.
I get neighbours' children to come over, pick some fruit, vegies, that sort of stuff and take it home with them.
Regular hoeing has a two fold benefit - it keeps the weeds down, and disturbs the top few centimetres of the soil that actually reduces the amount of moisture lost through evaporation. Australia is a vast country with a range of climate and soil types, so most weeds are not considered weeds everywhere. Another trick is to water newly planted seeds with a fifth of a teaspoon of Epsom salts, or magnesium sulphate, dissolved in a litre of water. If you’re unsure about a suspicious-looking plant, check the distribution maps on the websites at the end of this article.
I've had friends that have come here and didn't even realise pumpkins grew on a vine and yeah - I think we need to get more people knowing where your food actually comes from and knowing how to grow it."It's great to see someone as young as Brandon taking to gardening so enthusiastically and making it such a big part of his and other peoples' lives.
The seed consists of an embryo – the part that germinates and puts out a shoot and root; the rest is food supply for the newly developing plant. A feature of the garden is a bed of French lavender that is hardly ever watered, grows in soil with a pH of seven, but which is gravel, so it's well-drained.Another highlight is an old fashioned climbing rose called ‘Lamarque’. I'm not going to treat it in the same way as the first sage, because I can't see any buds at the base of the plant.
Once identified, you can devise a plan of attack.Some plants have become weeds in Australia because they are not kept under control by animals which feed on them back in their native country.
The magnesium in Epsom salts helps activate the enzymes to break down the food supply for the new plant and keeps it going until the leaves have formed. According to Lindy it has a beautiful gentle fragrance but grows well with a lot of water and good luck.
I'm just going to give it a light prune - just from the tips, about 20 or 30 centimetres from the top."Leadwort is another plant that can be pruned hard.
An example of this is Watsonia bulbillifera, a garden escapee that has become a major environmental weed across southern Australia. It’s also important to water-in all seedlings with a solution of seaweed extract and water.
In its native South Africa it is kept under control by baboons feeding on the corms.The government provides useful lists on its website of Weeds of National Significance, which include common weeds such as broom (Cytisus scoparius) and blackberry (Rubus fruticosus).
Seaweed contains significantly higher levels of vitamin B1, and that helps plants overcome transplant shock and also results in a much earlier yielding plant.
It's a beautiful blue flowering plant in late summer and autumn, but if there are seed pods in evidence - as they are here - the flowers are spent. There is also a National Environmental Alert List, that features lobed needle grass (Nassella charruana), as well as a list of ‘Sleeper Weeds’.
So that's what it's all about, taking vegetables straight from your own garden because “you won't get them that fresh from the supermarket or greengrocer”. I like the formality, with the hedges, and the green,” Lindy said.There are also two beautiful Bolusanthus speciosus or tree wisterias.
These are plants that are benign but spread rapidly after a fire, drought or other disturbance. In early spring you'll get nice new growth and plenty of flowers."Next to the leadwort are clumps of liriope. As gardeners, we can help by referring to these lists and being careful not to introduce these weeds into our gardens.Fighting BackOnce you know how weeds invade and spread, use this against themAirborne Remember the old saying “one year’s seeding, seven years’ weeding”? Beyond a beautiful arbour, Lindy has placed a recycled hayfeeder and when it is covered in a creeper it's going to beautifully frame a wonderful old bloodwood in the distance.When you look around Lindy’s garden you could be anywhere - in the Blue Mountains or the Dandenongs.
For Lindy it was important to make a garden that was “lush and that makes you feel welcome”. Airborne seeds are the worst because just as you get on top of one invasion along comes another on a windy day. They're only short-lived and, out here in this climate, the last thing I need is dull, olive-green leaves. Couch grass (Cynodon dactylon) and kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum) have been the main culprits in my gardens. All I've got to do is look beyond the garden and I can see that,” she said.“We had dam water which is good, but that ran dry last year and we had to go onto bore water. That was ghastly, there were too many minerals, and much damage was done to the garden in those eight months. Burr medic (Medicago polymorpha), bindies (Soliva sessilis), asthma weed (Parietaria judaica) and bidgee-widgee (Acaena novae-zelandiae) are classic examples. I remember feeling daunted when I first came and stood on the back landing…to see a yard full of buffle grass and no trees. Once ingested, the seeds are later passed out in their faeces elsewhere, where they then germinate.
It is best to lay down several sheets of newspaper on dampened soil first and top it off with about 5–15cm of mulch (depending on how large the particles are). Don’t use plastic under mulch because plastic stops water and air reaching the soil – you only need to prevent light reaching the soil to stop weeds. You can even kill existing weeds with this method, but if the weeds are mature you may need to slash or mow them first.
Some seeds may survive but they are unlikely to germinate and force their way through the mulch if it’s thick enough.
This is not necessarily a disaster as the layers of newspaper will prevent any weeds that do sprout taking root in the soil. Growing groundcover plants or dense shrubs also suppresses weeds, but they work best when planted after mulch is laid down.CultivationUsing cultivation to control weeds does mean work.
However, it doesn’t have to mean a lot of work if you tackle the weeds at the right time, as shown above. Let’s assume dandelion weed seeds have blown into your garden and are sprouting in your vegie patch. If the weeds are past the seedling stage and more established, you may have to dig them out individually with a hand trowel or fork, which is more work.When digging bulbous weeds, make sure you get the bulb and all bulblets. This may mean digging up and throwing out the surrounding soil, or sieving it, if the bulblets have fallen away from the bulb.
If you are persistent with this strategy – and it may take several years – you will see very few of these weeds.Creepers and running weeds can be problematic because of their ability to grow vegetatively.
My strategy with running weeds, such as couch grass, is to pull the runners from the garden bed back to where they start in the lawn, trying to remove them all in one piece.
I then go back over the garden bed with a hand fork, searching for any bits that I may have left behind. Crawling around on my hands and knees with a weeding fork digging out dandelions and capeweed is not my favourite activity, but I have to do it in the grassed areas of my vegie garden and orchard because I’m trying to do the organic thing.So what do you do with all these weeds when you’ve dug or ripped them out? If there are no seeds or fruits, they can go in the compost or in your council’s green waste collection system.
Some gardeners put their weeds in a bucket of water and let them decompose for a month and use the solution as a fertiliser.
Or you can simply burn dried weeds if local regulations allow.HerbicidesSometimes a weed problem is so bad that you need to spray. If you find yourself in that situation here are things to keep in mind.Handling Synthetic herbicides are toxic chemicals that should be handled with care. Broad spectrum herbicides, such as glyphosate, are considered to be relatively safe in terms of human health, but some selective herbicides are not so benign. I consider gauntlets, long sleeves and a face mask to be the bare minimum in safety attire when handling toxic chemicals. See the table above for the active ingredients of commercial herbicides and the weeds they target.Resistance Repeatedly using the same herbicide against the same weeds may lead to herbicide resistance.
Use the lowest concentration recommended on the label and spot spray.Homemade Herbicides There are many homemade weedkiller recipes available on the internet. The authors of these recipes often claim their weedkiller to be ‘chemical-free’– which can’t be true given that vinegar is acetic acid.
These recipes might be quite useful to control weeds on pathways, but be careful using them in garden beds among other plants because they are not selective and you don’t want acid and salt building up in the soil. The best organic weedkiller is boiling water, especially on shallow-rooted weeds.Stop Them in Their TracksThere are a few things we can all do to limit the spread of weeds in our environment. Be aware of a plant’s weed potential when swapping plants or bringing propagating material from other regions.

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