11 September 2019

Gardens escape and threaten natives in wake of blooming season

| Ian Campbell
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Morning glory enveloping all in its path. Photo: BVSC.

Morning Glory enveloping all in its path. Photo: BVSC.

Garden plants in the Bega Valley have been enjoying a bumper season with warm humid days and plenty of rain promoting rapid growth.

Bega Valley Shire Council’s Biosecurity Invasive Species Coordinator, Jamie Dixon-Keay, points out there is a dark side to this blooming season.

“Unwanted or over-enthusiastic garden plants are spreading beyond their boundaries, invading neighbouring land where they may be less than welcome,” Mr Dixon-Keay says.

“Vines, such as Morning Glory and Japanese Honeysuckle to name just a couple, can overwhelm gardens, covering shrubs and trees in a dense mat and climbing over boundary fences where they are doing the same.

“Other plants, including many daisy species, agapanthus, lion’s tail, polygala and the succulents also spread, many beyond gardens into bushland and reserves.

“If you have plants that are rapidly spreading, take care to keep them in your garden and protect the environment beyond your fence.

“Think about what you plant in your garden and consider replacing plants that are unruly with less invasive species,” Mr Dixon-Keay advises.

According to the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), “Weeds are a major threat to our unique natural environment, threatening the survival of hundreds of native plants and animals in NSW alone. They also impact on the price of food, human health through allergies and asthma, recreational activities and the NSW economy.”

“Early detection and surveillance offer the most strategic and cost-effective form of weeds management. Early detection of weeds increases the likelihood that control will be successful and reduces costs as infestations can be treated when they are less extensive,” DPI says.

Mr Dixon-Keay says Council’s Biosecurity Officers are more than happy to visit your property with advice on how to restrain or safely dispose of unwanted and unruly garden plants.

“Local nurseries also offer advice on appropriate species to plant,” he says.

Officers can also provide advice on what not to plant and advise on similar plants that are less likely to spread – if you would like to arrange a visit contact Council on 6499 2222.

Gardeners can download the WeedWise app and select Bega Valley South East to discover the priority weeds in the Bega Valley Shire. You can also view the NSW Weed Control Handbook via the NSW DPI website.

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