Territory Stories

The Wagaitear



The Wagaitear


The Wagaitear; NewspaperNT




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Wagait Beach (N.T.) -- Periodicals; Cox Peninsula (N.T.) -- Periodicals

Publisher name

Anna Greer

Place of publication

Wagait Beach


v. 3 no. 14

File type



Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

Copyright owner

Anna Greer



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

The Wagaitear, March, 2014 5 Gardening with Bec... Weeds common to Wagait Beach BY REBECCA JAMES Wagait Beach is fortunate to not yet be overrun by weeds however this doesnt mean you can relax because weeds are a constant threat! I know that sounds alarmist but from the simple annoyance of caltrop spines piercing your feet through your thongs not to mention rashes and allergic reactions. Worse still weeds can displace local native vegetation and reduce biodiversity and even increase the risk of bush fire. Dont feel helpless though - everyone can help to keep them at bay. A few notable weeds around Wagait Beach include mission grass (Cenchrus pedicellatus and C. polystachios) and gamba grass (Andropogon gayanus). These three grasses are listed under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act as a key threatening process (KTP) to Australias biodiversity. I try to avoid the tip where there were large stands of mission grass throughout. Be careful when dropping off rubbish to not take back a KTP to your garden! As well as displacing local native vegetation and reducing biodiversity, gamba and mission grass present a serious fire risk. Their large biomass and later curing time results in hotter and more dangerous fires compared to stands of native grass burns. The more intense fires threaten lives and assets but also alter the composition and structure of native woodlands as many trees cannot tolerate the hotter fires. The Northern Territory Government has produced a weed management plan for gamba grass and there has been significant support given for its control, for example free herbicides! If you missed out on those, it looks like the Wagait Shire is going to step in with providing glyphosate for residents in the future to help control gamba (the 13-18 Wagait Shire Strategic Plan). Care should be taken with identification of gamba grass as there are local large tussock grasses that gamba can be confused with such as the northern cane grass (Mnesithea rottboellioides) and itch grass (Rottboellia cochinchinensis. The northern cane grass has been in flower for about a month on my block and the itch grass is just beginning. Gamba grass can flower throughout the year where it can be distinguished by the mature fluffy white seed head. Another increasing weed is neem (Azadirachta indica), a once favoured shade tree that is capable of forming dense stands. Its seed is spread widely and effectively by birds- I have a number of small plants sprouting around my property. At this time of the year they are easy enough to pull out by hand. With the larger trees I have cut them down and then applied a splash of glyphosate on the trunk to finish them off. Hyptis (H. suaveolens) is another weed sprung up around the fire break on my property. It can displace native flora where soils are disturbed and form dense infestations (and it stinks!). I have put in quite a few hours already pulling them out in vain to what seems like more of them pop up again it reminds me of a saying: one years seed is seven years weed. Good luck in your weeding efforts! Catch them while the ground is soft and before they seed! Next months topic: The ins and outs of raising chooks. Weeds common to Wagait Beach L-R Hyptis, Mission Grass and Gamba grass. A threat to native flora and fire risk. Stem Edwards has confirmed that his wife Jackie will be shaving her locks to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation research and support. The Edwards have been pleasantly surprised at the overwhelming support the they have received since the fundraising started. We cant believe it, Jackie has raised close to $10,000 he said. On the list of the top ten fundraisers around the country, Jackie sits at number six. Jackie plans to be back in the Northern Territory for the Worlds Greatest Shave but that will depend on their health of her son who is receiving treatment down south. If you want to support Jackie and the Edwards family, there is a collection jar at the shop. The World Greatest Shave is an annual fundraiser for the Leukaemia Foundation and so far, over three million dollars has been pledged for the event. This year, the shave will take place March 13-16. The Cox Club has supported this fundraiser in the past so if you want to take part or donate, head to the Cox Coutnry Club on Saturday Losing hair for a worthy cause

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