Some advice on the KCDC website

Are you planning to spend some of these long summer evenings getting stuck into the garden? Unfortunately, warmer weather often brings unwelcome weeds that need managing. Here’s some tips on pest species you might come across.

Banana passionfruit

This high-climbing vine with single, hanging, tubular pink flowers can grow up to 10m high, maturing to fruit after only one year. The large, sweet fruit contain many seeds that are dispersed by birds, as well as possums, rats and feral pigs.

It thrives in coastal areas and blankets other vegetation, out-competing other plants and preventing native plants from establishing.

Photo credit: Weedbusters

How to manage it: Hand-pull banana passionfruit whenever possible or dig the plant out at the roots. If you eat the fruit, don’t discard in garden waste as it will grow.

The climbing character of the plant could mean that supporting plants may also be damaged if you choose to use herbicide sprays. To avoid damage to supporting plants, cut the main stems at ground level and treat immediately with herbicide. See Weedbusters – Banana passionfruit for best practice.

Climbing asparagus

This thin, wiry smothering vine with fern-like foliage can expand rapidly, carpeting the ground and preventing the establishment of native plant seedlings. Climbing asparagus can also ring bark and kill established soft-barked shrubs and trees.

Tiny white flowers appear from September to December, followed from October to February by round berries that ripen from green to orange-red. It is very shade tolerant, resilient and spreads easily thanks to birds dropping.

Photo credit: Weedbusters

How to manage it: Climbing asparagus is difficult to control. Stem fragments readily resprout when broken off in the ground and tubers will often resprout following spraying.

Work your way in from the edge of the infestation, digging out tubers as you go. Make sure you dispose of these appropriately where they cannot resprout.

If you choose to spray, do so in spring to early summer only with herbicide. Read the label thoroughly and follow instructions. See Weedbusters – Climbing asparagus for best practice.