How to stop weeds

The table below provides some suggestions on how to stop weeds growing in your backyard and neighbourhood.

Also listed on this page are manual and Herbicide application techniques for weed control.

Activity Explanation

Researching new garden additions.

Many environmental weeds are initially introduced as garden plants.

Using local native plants in your garden wherever possible.

They make great habitat and are low maintenance additions to your property.

Learn to recognise your local weed species and how they spread.

In many cases mowing or slashing can aggravate your weed problem by spreading seeds and plant segments. Regular hand removal or an appropriate herbicide is often the quickest and most simple solution.

Not dumping lawn clippings, garden waste and soil into neighbouring easements, parks or bushland.

Dumping introduces new weed infestations to our public land. Council waste transfer stations accept greenwaste, where it is recycled into mulch or used as fuel to produce green electricity.

Ensuring that you are not part of the weed’s reproduction cycle.

Weed seeds often hitch a ride on your clothing, pets and vehicles. Do a quick check for weed seeds and dispose of any hitchhikers in the bin.

Joining a Bushcare group.

Bushcare groups help restore your local bushland.

Enquiring about Council’s environmental extension programs.

Assistance may be available to help with weed control on your property.

Share your knowledge with your friends, family and neighbours.

Share your knowledge with your friends, family and neighbours.

Manual techniquesweed control hand weeding

Hand weeding

Hand weeding is a low impact and gentle method of weed control. It is particularly effective for small infestations or weeding in sensitive environments. With this method you must ensure all reproductive root, stem and seed segments are bagged and disposed of.

Weed controlCrowning

Using a sharp knife and protective gloves, the crown of some groundcover plant species can be removed, without further growth from the remaining roots. This is easily done by holding the leaves of the plant and using the knife at a 45 degree angle, cutting around the base of the plant to include a few centimetres of roots. The crown of the plant must be bagged and disposed of.

Solarisation and smothering

Some low-growing weeds can be controlled through solarisation or smothering. Solarisation involves covering the area with black plastic to block light and generate heat. The combined effects of the lack of light and added heat over a four week period will kill most weeds.

Smothering involves covering the weeds with a thick layer of overlapping newspaper, cardboard, carpet or mulch. This effectively blocks the weeds ability to capture light and with time will kill most weeds provided they are well covered.

Mechanical

Control of woody weeds utilising mechanical methods can be achieved using brush cutters, chainsaws and heavy machinery. While this method is quick and effective, care should be taken to avoid broad scale clearing, to minimise impacts on wildlife using weedy areas as habitat. When using this method it is essential to follow up with repeat visits to effectively eradicate the weed.

Pasture Improvement and revegetation

Both pasture improvement and revegetation are long-term techniques that assist in eliminating weeds. Weeds thrive in disturbed environments with a lack of competition. By restoring your pasture or local bushland, the additional competition from healthy pasture and vegetation makes it difficult for weeds to establish.

Herbicide application techniques

Weed control Cut scrape and paintCut, scrape and paint

Plants transport water and nutrients in capillaries between the outer bark and the interior hardwood. Many small/medium woody weeds and vines can be effectively controlled by introducing herbicide into these capillaries through a cut or a scrape to the plant.

Follow the manufacturer’s directions for use and safety, when mixing the herbicide. Then using a sharp knife/secateurs and protective gloves, either cut through the stem of the plant or make numerous deep scrapes to the bark. It is important that the herbicide is applied quickly before the plant seals the wounds. Generously apply the herbicide solution to the wound within 10-15 seconds using a brush. Monitor your weed control and revisit if necessary.

Stem injection, weed controlStem injection, frilling and chipping

Larger woody weeds can be controlled using stem injection. This simply involves drilling numerous holes with a drill at a 45 degrees angle to access the area just beneath the bark. These holes are then quickly filled with herbicide, using the manufacturer’s directions. This introduces the herbicide to the plants vascular system and is an effective control method if completed correctly.

A crude version of this can also be completed using an axe, tomahawk or chisel to ‘frill’ the bark with numerous small downward cuts and then quickly applying the herbicide once again. It is important not to completely ringbark the tree, as this will prevent efficient uptake of the herbicide.

Weed control Foliar SprayingFoliar spraying

Using a pressure sprayer, this method enables an aerosol of herbicide to be applied to the foliage of the weed. This is often a useful method for controlling large, dense infestations of weeds. Spraying should be avoided in windy or very still conditions, if rain is anticipated within 24 hours, or in close proximity to waterways. Wetting agents may be required for weeds with hairy or waxy leaves to assist with herbicide uptake.

Download the Environmental Weeds of the Redlands Brochure [PDF, 10.37MB]

Further advice

Herbicides should not be used around waterways or sprayed adjacent to sensitive natural environments. If in doubt, read the label on the bottle, it will give you all the information required to conduct your weed control safely and responsibly.

Successful weed control usually involves an ongoing program of follow-up treatments and maintenance due to the long dormancy of many weed seeds.

Where possible you should also consider coordinating your weed control with neighbours to prevent regrowth.

For further information, advice and guidance you can contact: