Planning your pest control
To make the most of your efforts, it's important to consider things such as which species you should tackle first, where you should focus first and how you're going to manage the area once the weeds are gone.
Help - what do I do first?
- Know your weeds - use our Pest search to find out more about the weeds. Some will spread from seed, others will spread vegetatively, some do both. Learn which weeds need to be controlled at a certain time of year and how best to dispose of them.
- Make a list of the weeds you have and then celebrate crossing them off as you control them.
- Generally, control the weeds you have least of first. Getting some weeds crossed off your list will be a satisfying start.
- Target climbers first - these weeds will be smothering other plants and putting the hard work you've put into your property at risk. Cut and treat climbers such as moth plant, jasmine or Japanese honeysuckle.
- Remove weed seed sources - mature plants should have their flowers removed before they have a chance to set seed. Often there are too many weeds to tackle all at once. Ensuring the existing weeds in your garden cannot spread by setting seed is a good start and a way to contain the source weed plants.
- Consider physically removing as much of any groundcover weeds as possible before any herbicides are applied. Some can be raked or rolled up first e.g. tradescantia (wandering jew). This saves on herbicide and gives you a good head start.
After you have contained your weeds, work on getting rid of the source.
- Tackle your weeds in sections - Don't try and take on too much at once. Decide which area of your property or weed species you'd like to target first and where you'll focus your efforts.
- Regular follow up - Is essential to control the weeds and make the most of your previous efforts. Schedule follow-ups every 2-3 months for most weeds, sooner in good growing conditions e.g spring.
- If you are using herbicides - Most chemicals only last a day or two once mixed so work out what can be controlled with that chemical and mix up enough to do it all at once. Experience will tell you how much you need and until then, mix up less rather than more to avoid wastage and disposal problems.
- Weed hygiene - Make sure that you don't inadvertently spread weeds around your property when moving weed waste around. Use a ground sheet/garden bag to contain seeds and fragments.
- Site management - Once the weeds have been removed you may have a bare or open area that could easily be re-colonised by more weeds. Plan to plant these areas to keep weeds out.
- Plan rest time too! - Weed control can be a real chore so plan some downtime when you can enjoy your property. Take before and after photos to remind yourself how much progress you've made.