Once you have identified your weed, there are usually a range of techniques that can be used to control and/or eradicate it depending on the size of the plants and the infestation. Knowing what weed you are dealing with first is important, as there may be certain techniques that work better than others, or issues, such as root nodules that can resprout, timing of seeds, toxic sap, that need to be taken into account.
It is important to minimize soil disturbance when undertaking weeding. Bare ground and disturbed areas provide perfect conditions for weed seed germination. Disturbed areas can also increase the risk of erosion and water runoff. Therefore, using techniques that reduce disturbance to the soil or bare ground as much as possible is beneficial in the long run. If feasible, mulching to reduce bare ground can be useful. Make sure any mulch does not contain weed seeds!
Care must be taken if you are using chemical. Make sure you are using the correct chemical for the weed, in the right amount, in the right way. Ensure you are wearing proper protective clothing. Always read the label on the chemical before use and follow instructions.
Remember, weeds also provide habitat for native animals, especially if there is not a lot of native vegetation around. So before you tackle large infestations stop, look and listen to see what animals may be using that patch and whether there are safe havens for them to move to, should you remove all the weeds at once. Small birds and other animals like bandicoots need dense areas of bush to hide and nest in. Some weeds represent an important food source. They may provide protection from both native predators, like quolls and birds of prey, and introduce predators, like cats. Two good examples of this in the Tamar are: African Boxthorns at Low Head providing vital nesting habitat for Little Penguins and Gorse providing refuge habitat for threatened Eastern Barred Bandicoots.
These animals often don’t travel far, or only breed in one area, making small patches of habitat, even weed infested ones, important. Therefore planning is even more important if tackling large infestations that may be providing vital habitat. A combination of gradual weed removal and revegetation is recommended for areas of vital habitat for native animals.