Despite the cold weather, winter is the perfect time to combat the spread of environmental weeds and revegetate residential gardens with beautiful (native-animal-attracting) indigenous species.
Environmental weeds are plants that displace native vegetation which impacts the vitality of indigenous flora and fauna. Surprisingly, many environmental weeds are popular garden plants that have grown to become major threats to the biodiversity in the natural environment.
Common garden plants such as Agapanthus, Arum Lily, Gazania and Freesia are all environmental weeds that are detrimental to native flora and fauna.
Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) Conservation Supervisor Georgie Beale, encourages locals to remove environmental weeds from their gardens this winter.
“If we remove environmental weeds and plant indigenous species in their place, we are able to provide a haven for our precious wildlife and protect coastal habitats.
“Revegetating gardens in winter provides plants with ideal soil conditions and the best chance of survival.
“Seeds from invasive species are easily spread by the wind and animals, which is why it is important to avoid planting environmental weeds in the garden,” she said.
Surfers Appreciating the Natural Environment (SANE) Chair Graeme Stockton is urging locals to think of plants as more than an aesthetic addition to the garden.
“Plants provide vital habitats for local birds and animals, and the type of plant determines the fauna it attracts.
“As a community, we have a large impact on the environment and it is up to us to choose whether we have a positive or negative impact.
“Removing environmental weeds from the garden and coastal habitats is a great start to environmental stewardship,” he said.
Weed eradication programs are a vital component of GORCC’s extensive conservation effort to protect and enhance fragile habitats along the coast.
Local schools and environmental volunteer groups actively contribute to GORCC’s conservation effort and dedicate hundreds of hours each year to coastal protection works.
For more information on what plants are weeds (and what alternatives to plant in your garden), check out the Weeds of the Surf Coast Shire booklet.
Want to do more? Environmental volunteer groups operate right along our beautiful coast. For more information, click here.
Want to purchase some indigenous plants or get a helping hand? Otways Indigenous Nursery in Aireys Inlet is a great place to start.
Have you identified any weeds in your garden?