Wednesday, January 07, 2009

montbretia out in force

You may have noticed a strappy leaf plant in your garden now sporting an attractive orange flower – beware – it could be Montbretia, a terrible weed in the Dandenongs.

It is very good at invading gardens, bushland and, roadside areas. Eventually it will take over and displace native grasses and groundcovers.

Now is a good time to remove Montbretia as it’s easy to identify when in flower. It grows and spreads by bulb underground to produce new plants, it also produces large amounts of seeds from the flower heads.

As my yard only has a small amount of Montbretia, I remove it by hand, but you have to make sure you remove ALL the bulbs or you’ll be in for more of the same next summer. I also make sure I remove it all whilst it is flowering (now) and don’t give it a chance to turn to seed.

You can also dig out patches of Montbretia as the bulbs often form in linked chains, but once again make sure you get all the bulbs. Don’t ever put soil from dug up Montbretia on other parts of your garden as you could inadvertently be spreading Montbretia by tiny bulbs hidden in the soil.

Even the most prudent gardener has weeds (and probably Montbretia) and I like a lot of hills residents have my fair share. Don’t get despondent when weed nasties reappear, their removal is a long term plan.

Did you know that you can put all weeds (including nasties like blackberry, ivy and agapanthus), grass clippings, small branches, garden prunings (including rose clippings), flowers and leaves into the Shire's Green Waste bin?

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