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Eco-Friday blog post - Turning the tap off

This ridiculously elongated rainy season has again restricted us this week from any activity requiring machinery. So a perfect opportunity for weeding.

In June last year, we had our land inspected by the professionals at Noosa Landcare. We were oh-so-relieved when we were told that the property was in really good shape weed wise, largely because it had been left alone to propagate naturally.

Having said that, we definitely had weed pockets that, if left unchecked, could quickly takeover. And take over in places, they definitely have. It’s mind blowing how quickly an area can transform from beautiful clusters of native species into weedy, thorny, luminescent foliage; species that reproduce easily and rapidly, spreading like a plague through the canopies.

As you become more familiar with vegetation species, it becomes easy to identify which ones don’t belong. Native species complement each other, in their hue, their foliage, and there’s patterns to where they propagate. Weeds on the other hand are conspicuous and turn up anywhere they can.

Just over a year in to our education of the flora of the Sunshine State and we look across our bushland and easily recognise individual tree and weed species...and see many hours of work, of course!

Camphor Laurels and Lantana have been our priority targets this week and are well known trouble makers. Both of these species had varying classification statuses over the last few decades, with the former being intentionally planted in our town parks as ornamental trees, where they still stand today. It was only decades later that they were classified as weeds, an ‘oops’ moment, as far as our environment goes. There are even mixed opinions about Lantana with some seeing it as a vibrant habitat, despite its classification as the most destructive introduced species in our ecosystem and an absolute catastrophe for land owners.

Despite our land being in better condition than many, seeing the weeds and knowing how prolific they can be with a bit of sunshine and rain, can feel a bit overwhelming at times. The advice we were given by Landcare was to approach it like you’re eating an elephant...just one bite at a time.

While our kids swing on vines and build cubbies these school holidays, we get to focus on the unenviable and gruelling task of land rehabilitation. It’s all about turning the tap off - each Lantana plant is capable of creating 3,600 new plants. So if each one we pull prevents the growth of that many, we have probably stopped somewhere in the region of a trillion by now....At least, that’s what it feels like! 😁

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