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Get rid of tradescantia

Posted by SC Comments Off on Get rid of tradescantia

Pat La Roche, Piha Coast Care, today sent out the “how to” of getting rid of tradescantia and why.

A timely reminder, here it is

I got a shock when I recently visited a property that was almost free of Tradescantia (Wandering Jew) a couple of years ago.  It now has a large invasion on a scale which is almost overwhelming in terms of eradication.  
It is very easy to get busy and put off dealing with minor patches of this weed until you suddenly realise that you have a real problem to cope with. Tradescantia is on the march right now, as spring conditions approach.  I suggest you have a close look at your property to see if you have any of this weed present.
If you have small patches, carefully remove right now, put into a plastic bag, and take it to the weed bin in the Domain, near the playground. Take all the fragments to the bin, because even small pieces left on the ground will make roots and grow.
If you have a bigger problem, don’t panic!  I suggest you take the following steps.
1.  First rremove any ‘outliers’ ie small areas that are just starting to spread.
2. ‘Ring-fence’ your larger patches by removing the outer edges of the infestation so that you can buy time before it spreads onto new ground.
3.  You now have a choice of spraying with Grazon or  Hydrocotyl, or physically removing the plants.  
I favour initial physical removal of the vegetation by raking or hand pulling,  followed up by close hand removal of the roots and fragments.  If you haven’t got time to gather up the fragments, and follow up on a regular (at least monthly) basis, you may like to wait until there is some re-growth, and spray.  This way you use much less spray than if you sprayed the initial mass.
Which ever method you use, follow-up is essential!!
On at least a monthly basis at first, take a plastic bag with you and tour your section.  Hopefully, each month you will get less and less re-growth, especially if you are meticulous with getting as much of the leaf and root as possible into your bag. You will soon be able to extend the time intervals for your inspections.
Why bother?
If you allow Tradescantia to invade your land, all native ground covering native plants will be smothered and other species can’t get established. So what you end up with eventually is a section covered with a dense mat of wandering Jew and nothing else.  
As you know, we are fortunate in Piha that wherever land is weed-free, natives establish and renew themselves, without any effort on our part. This can;t happen if the ground is covered with Tradescantia.
Disposal of the Vegetation
If you don’t have a way of getting the vegetation waste to the weed bin, or would rather carry out your Tradescantia attack on a more gradual basis, you can use one of the huge woven plastic weed bags available from the Weedfree Trust.
You can buy a bag yourself from the Trust in Olympic Place, New Lynn, during working hours. Alternatively, if you contact Richelle Kahui-McConnell richellegeko@gmail.com (Co-ordinator for Sustainable Communities Initiative) you may be able to acquire a free bag.  These bags are huge (two sizes available – big or huge) and you can leave them on the ground while you add your pickings bit by bit.  If the bag is kept closed up, you will have compost in about 6 months

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