While it is preferable to have a garden with predominantly local native species, if your garden consists predominantly of exotic and weed species, it is not recommended to rush in and pull all of these species out at once. In this situation it is best to identify if you have any declared weed species and locally significant pests and prioritise and stage your removal.
In urban environments these plants are often the only habitat and food sources available to wildlife and you do not want to take away their only habitat without providing an established or usable replacement. Create a plan to remove exotic plants and weeds slowly over a period of time and as replacement native species begin to establish - this can take several years.
There are many methods available to control weeds. Often one method will not be sufficient to control serious weeds, and integrating several methods over a long period can be more successful. This approach is known as integrated weed management.
Methods of Control
There are several methods of weed control. Find out how to cut, frill, dig and paint weeds for successful removal. A series of short videos are available showing all of the basic techniques.
There are also some other great information available from Brisbane City Council, weed control page.
Let the plants control the weedsPlanting areas with a good mix of ground cover species and/or closely planted shrub layers will help to shade out sunlight and reduce weed growth within your garden. Dense shrub coverage will also contribute to the accumulation of natural leaf litter and mulching which will also assist in weed suppression in the garden.
For further informationLinks and Other Resources
challenges, tools and games.
Useful Tips and Facts
- Create urban wildlife corridors and stepping stones to larger local bushland or parkland areas.
- In nature there is no such thing as waste everything is linked and contributes to the cycle. As a plant reaches the end of its life cycle it is not discarded by nature, instead it provides habitat for animals and food for micro-organisms as it lies on the ground, the waste from the micro-organisms, bacteria and fungi feeding on it replace nutrients and organic material to the soil for new plants to grow.
- Plant local native species
- The best way to attract native wildlife to your backyard is to provide a variety of healthy natural foods in the form of seeds, leaves, flowers, nectar, pollen, fruits and nuts throughout the year.
- The use of pesticides and herbicides can damage your soils and kill non target species. The poisoning of insects with chemicals can also cause larger species relying on those insects as a food source to become sick or even die from eating poisoned insects.
- To create habitat for smaller native birds you can grow shrubs close together to create dense corners or pockets in your garden which will provide protection and refuge from larger aggressive birds such as noisy miners
- Wattles (Acacias). While most wattles only live between 6 - 10 years, they are an important pioneer species which colonise disturbed areas, where other plants find it hard to grow. They improve soil conditions enough to allow other species to germinate and thrive by fixing nitrogen into the soil through their roots and adding high levels of organic leaf litter.