Photo: John Sampson
Weeds are simply plants growing in the wrong place. In bushland they are any plant introduced into that area.
Weeds thrive because they are so fast growing, spread quickly and can outcompete indigenous plants.
This is especially true in disturbed areas close to suburbs. Indigenous plants in these areas are already under stress from pressures such as fire and rubbish dumping, and don’t need the added stress of having to compete with weeds.
Local native plants are an important source of food and shelter for wildlife, they keep our environment healthy by filtering water along creeks and wetlands. Losing local plants to weeds affects the entire environment. We lose species diversity (biodiversity) as weeds crowd out local plants.
Some of the weeds invading our bushland have escaped from gardens. This happens when seeds are dispersed by the wind, on boots and in pet fur. Weeds are also spread by birds and from being dumped as garden waste in bushland.
What CAN I DO?
- Visit your local native plant nursery, they are a good source of information about what to plant and what to avoid.
- Replace weedy plants in your garden with varieties that do not spread. Some environmental weeds are Gazania, Cape Broom, non-native grasses, some succulent species and Cootamundra Wattles. These are just some of the noticeable garden escapees in Bendigo’s bushland.
- You can dispose of green waste during any of the City of Greater Bendigo’s four free green waste disposal weekends. The council will also introduce a kerbside organics collection for urban Bendigo and Marong in late 2016, offering another way of disposing of your green waste. Visit www.bendigo.vic.gov.au for more information.
- Volunteer with one of the community groups listed at the back of this book to help control weeds in your local reserve.
- Keep pets from roaming in reserves, unless it is an off-leash area. Weed seeds and plant diseases get caught in fur and dispersed through bushland.
- Find out more about weeds by searching online for the Weeds Identification Guide of North Central Victoria – there are many other resources and local groups online that can help too.