2 November 2019

Trade your garden weeds for native plants this weekend

| Michael Weaver
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people, tent and plants in pots

Mugga Lane will be one of two venues for the spring weed swap this weekend. Photo: File.

If the best things you have ever grown in your backyard are weeds, then this weekend is your chance to swap them for native plants.

The weed swap is now in its 18th year and offers Canberrans an opportunity to trade their garden weeds for great native plants that will help our region’s ecosystem thrive.

This event is a partnership between the Australian Native Plants Society and the ACT Government and its invasive plants program leader, Steve Taylor, said all the plants are supplied by local growers and are very hardy and suitable for the Canberra region.

“Whether you have an established garden, a yard that is a bit out of control or you live close to a nature reserve, have a look around and see what invasive species you can swap out,” Mr Taylor said.

He said Canberra is lucky to have many great nature reserves and parks and this program helps prevent invasive species accidentally leaving our yards and affecting our environment.

This program will tackle invasive plants that can enter bushland and compete with native plants and force them out of their habitats.

Small trees such as wattles, shrubs including Correa, Banksia, Grevillea, bottlebrushes and Westringia are on offer at the swap, along with groundcovers like Brachyscome – rock daisy, Dianella and Poa tussock.

Teams will be set up at Belconnen and Mugga Lane all weekend, with the public being encouraged to bring down those weeds and check out the range of native plants available for swapping.

“Established gardens have older style plants, many we now know are invasive, such as privet, Cotoneaster, Pyracantha (firethorn) and hawthorn,” said Mr Taylor.

“Other garden plants that are known to be invasive and escape into our reserves include bridal creeper, Nandina (sacred bamboo), fountain grass, ox-eye daisy and Spanish heath.

“If you live near Mt Ainslie and Mt Majura, check your garden for bridal creeper in particular. Residents in the Belconnen area should check for fountain grass. Both are species that are often traced back to local gardens,” Mr Taylor said.

The weed swap will be held from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at the green waste recycling centres at Corkhills Green Waste recycling Centre at Mugga Lane and CSG Green Waste Recycling Centre on Parkwood Road Belconnen.

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