National Weed Week

Ideas to help get rid of weeds

See also ABC Radio National Online, Ockham's Razor, 16th October 2004

A. Personal experience of the problem.

Our Mt Waverley gardens were mainly original bush 40 years ago. We also have a large bushland reserve almost across the road. Weeds have moved in rapidly, but the acceleration and increase in the LAST FOUR YEARS has been extraordinary. Two new grass weeds in particular are trying to take over the whole garden, and onionweed has also moved in. Capeweed and other horrors are also moving up the street via the verges.

A bus and train journey from Canberrra yesterday showed patches of Paterson's curse - some enormous, but some so small they could be cleared out by hand.

B. Some ideas.

(Newspapers, radio, comunity noticeboards and gardening TV programs etc can publicise many of them, with illustrations of weeds.)

  1. Raising awareness of the HEALTH advantages of pulling out weeds.

    For juveniles, teenagers and others there is the great psycological outlet of CONSTRUCTIV DESTRUCTION! Better than tagging and wrecking fone boxes!

    Here is what the destroyer can destroy, the hunter can hunt, the hero can gain glory! especially when there are large patches in bush areas, rural properties and parks. Here is what the neatness obsessiv can be obsessiv about, the paranoid can be paranoid about, the competitiv can shine, the hermit go about in a solitary way, the sociable in gangs - outlets for all sorts of neuroses and sublimation, and plesurabl social training for personality disorders and the trigger-violent.

    How physically healthy! Better than jogging and gyms! Constructive exercise such as humans were evolved to perform!

  2. USES FOR WEEDS. Research in finding USES FOR WEEDS should be strongly supported. If the bloody things are so well adapted for our environment - find commercial and medical uses for them! The legality and desirability of passers-by and neighbors removing specific weeds such as oxalis, sticky-billy, capeweed and some thick green seeding grasses from verges that can be reached without stepping off the pavement. Conditions apply - only those weeds, and they must be disposed of in rubbish bins. (?Would it be legal?)
  3. Councils and others can supply or encourage litl tickets that anyone can put in a letterbox to tell householders what weeds they have that should be cleared out. These tickets can be supplied by libraries.
  4. Publicise a website that has good pictures of weeds, so everyone can know, and children at school can make their own Weed-Projects with folders to keep at home for all the family.
  5. People enjoying parks can take plastic bags to put weeds in - the parks can have notices with pictures of the weeds to take.

  6. Scouts and other youth organizations can organize Weed Excursions, liaising with property owners for Weed-clearing. This is good consciousness-raising as well as good exhausting heroic fun and picnic.
  7. PUBLICITY - can include computer-grafics pictures of our country-side and forests which show how the weeds have infiltrated in from 4-wheel drive tracks, logging, greenies, etc.

  8. WEED OLYMPICS. A badly-infested property can be marked out, and groups compete for medals of appropriat colors. Records can be set up to compete for - as long as this does not get out of hand. Hero-Weeders!
  9. THE NEXT NATIONAL WEED WEEK can include processions down local streets or at a shopping centre, in which hero-weeders can ride on trucks and wave. And have fotos on the front page of publications.
  10. WEED SHAME. Properties with lots of weeds can be threatend with public shame as well as offered volunteer assistance to help get rid of them.
  11. PUBLIC VERGES - of roads, railways etc are key methods of weed-spreading, and public authorities can think more of how they can enlist the public as well as pay their own staff to eradicate weeds. To prevent staff feeling that if all weeds go, so do their jobs, there must be plesanter useful occupations they will have when their areas are all clear and kept clear.
  12. WEEDY IDEAS. Somewhere that people can send their ideas and projects about how to clear up weeds.
  13. The Melbourne University Botany Department at one stage had some really scary data about weeds in Victoria - can that be made public?

See also Gloria Frydman ,The Street That Died Young, published in Melbourne by Five Mile Press, and described in Ockham's Razo Nov 1997.