Legalise your backyard.
South Africa has a big problem with non-indigenous invasive alien plants. But these same 'problem children' used to be the answer to our problems and/or needs. They were specifically brought over from across the globe - as far as Australia - to serve as plantation crops, dune stabilisers, animal fodder and garden ornamentals. They were chosen for their toughness and ability to not only survive but also thrive under our climate. The very same qualities that are creating a major ecological migraine now. They not only thrive and survive here, but are also proving extremely difficult to eradicate and in the process threaten indigenous animal and plant populations. The Australian hakea for instance needs the heat of fire for seed germination... how tough is that cookie? How is that my problem you ask? Well, these plants have to be dealt with and it is time for some serious spring-cleaningà starting with your own backyard.
Of the 198 trouble-causers, we need to start with the category 1 list (109 members strong!) and by law you have to extract them from your property immediately. Our magazines are full of indigenous (and water-wise) replacement alternatives and seeing it is International Weedbuster Week this month (9 - 16 October), you can celebrate it by getting down and dirty. Now if this leaves you feeling short of breath and exhausted already, don't fret. There is hope. Members of the Garden Centre Association of South Africa will sell you only legal plants, help identify your illegal plants and give advice on legal replacements you may want to consider. To find your nearest member of the Garden Centre Association, visit their website at www.sana.co.za or phone 011-4641098. Available on our website now is a list of these category irritations, see our invasive species plants page or visit www.invasive.species.sanbi.org
All the best,
The Gardening Eden Team
You are welcome to send us ideas or stories you would like us to cover in this article (), we always enjoy hearing from you.
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