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Grassy Weeds Get the Jump on an Early Spring

  • 1.  Grassy Weeds Get the Jump on an Early Spring

    Posted 28-10-2023 09:20

    Grassy Weeds Get the Jump on an Early Spring

    Coolatai grass seeds can spread easily. Photo credit: Bingara '03

    Source: Hills and Fleurieu Landscape October 2023 Newsletter

    With a rapid drying to the end of the season, hay cutting on the Fleurieu is almost at an end, but lurking in the shadows are a number of grassy weeds, and they are ready to pop!

    An invading weed or grass species can be a real nuisance and undo all the hard work you put into managing your property.  So if you see a new weed species emerging on your property – jump on it quick smart! Grassy weeds are highly adaptive and spread quickly via seed or runners, making them hard to control.

    One culprit that is appearing during this time is Coolatai grass (Hyparrhenia hirta).  This is a dense perennial grass tussock (clumping grass, occurring year to year), growing on average up to 1m tall and has thin grey-green leaves.  Its flowers are grey-white silky spikes, which grow in pairs, forming a 'v' shape at the end of their stalks.

    This weed has the capacity to produce vast quantities of seed over different seasons, but particularly in spring. It has a rapid colonisation rate and an ability to persist under heavy grazing and burning. On the Fleurieu, it is only found in small numbers – so we still have a chance at keeping it at bay.

    Isolated plants or small patches can be chipped out by cutting roots below the tussock base at any time of the year, making sure that any seed head are bagged on site and removed for disposal.

    However, for best results, it's critical to remove them when they are young before they get a chance to produce seeds. Always remove the root system as well as the leafy above ground part of the weed.

    Coolatai grass is a declared and notifiable weed under the Landscape South Australia Act 2019. So please get in touch if you suspect you have this species on your property.

    Visit the Landscape SA Hills and Fleurieu Website for more information on Grassroots Grants and their other fantastic work 


    [City] NSW