Thursday, October 11, 2012

Weedy Spring


Humans may not have enjoyed the wet weather experienced through winter and early spring, but weeds have. It means soil moisture levels are high, and this, along with spring warmth, encourages seeds to germinate and plants to grow rapidly. Weeds are weedy because they are fast growing and most capable of taking advantage of such opportunities.
Weeds come in many forms; a definition of a weed is a plant growing in the ‘wrong’ place. Think of grass in your drive versus grass in your lawn.
Weeds also tend to be plants that can grow and spread faster than those desirable plants around them. Yet another definition would be invasive weeds; those plants that have been brought into New Zealand and given the opportunity to grow and spread in the absence of the herbivorous mammals and insects that would normally eat them or competitor plants (see the Weedbuster website for more info on these).
In the garden, weeds are those plants that grow in the lawn, disrupting the even look of the carpet of grass, uninvited seedlings that pop up in flowerbeds and grow rapidly spreading and strangling the desirable plants, or those plants that grow in cracks in driveways and paths, looking unsightly and damaging the paths or drives with their roots.
The weather forecasters at NIWA and MetService are predicting normal, or above normal rainfall and temperatures for New Zealand over the next quarter. This means that weeds will continue to cause problems in the rapid growing conditions and home owners will spend more of their time trying to keep the weeds in their garden under control. New herbicides are available to assist in their battle. The recent launch of Kiwicare’s Weed Weapon will be of significant benefit. It combines the effectiveness and safety of glyphosate with a new active ingredient that makes it work much more quickly and it will kill some weeds that glyphosate alone will not. Old technology glyphosate could take up to two weeks to begin knock down of weeds, but Weed Weapon with Xpi technology can show effects within a day or two. Indeed the ready to use version will show affects within a few hours.
A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.

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