Saturday, January 28, 2012

Singapore Daisy...what a pest!

Weed control is an ongoing battle at our place and one of the battles that I fear we will face for many years to come is one against the invasive weed, Singapore Daisy.

Singapore Daisy, is an introduced pest in Queensland, with it originally coming from tropical America. It is a hardy and vigorous groundcover and I understand it is quite difficult to eradicate. It has a sea of yellow flowers during spring and summer and is known to spread from cuttings and prunings and just through rampant growth.

Currently Singapore Daisy is a Class 3 declared pest in Queensland, which does not require landholders to treat this species on their property, but does prevent people from releasing such species without a permit.

For me, this is terrible as all I have to prevent an ocean of Singapore Daisy from entering my property is a flimsy fence (see photo to right). This ocean is a significant infestation along my northern boundary. My southern boundary neighbours don't seem to have as much of a problem with this plant, but it is certainly present as individual plants. From investigations so far, it seems that most of my property is free of it, except for the occasional plant in the vicinity of the boundary fence and in the moister areas at the bottom of the hill.

My current plan of attack is pulling out the runners as they creep through the fences in the hope that I can control the tip spread. I also make sure that the bits I rip out of my ground go straight into the garbage bin to ensure the tips don't take hold somewhere else on our property (no compost action for this plant).

My best strategy I believe will be to either convince my neighbours to undertake a herbicide treatment in the areas of infestation, particularly on the northern boundary, and then replant with a suitable replacement species to ensure no soil loss once the Singapore Daisy groundcover "retreats". Alternatively, ask them if I can treat their land.

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) recommends the use of metsulfuron-methyl (herbicide) at 10g per 100L of water plus a wetting agent. I will try to discover some non-chemical treatment methods to control this species, but I suspect given it has taken hold so well I will have to resort to traditional treatment methods.

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