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Plant Me Instead!
Oct 2, 2007
Author: Environment Southland

Patches of native bush, wetlands, tussock grasslands and other natural areas all over Southland are being strangled or taken over by garden plants that have “jumped the fence” and gone wild.

Environment Southland and Weedbusters are inviting home gardeners to help them fight back on behalf of our native species, through the “Plant Me Instead” booklet, just launched in Southland.

The booklet will be available free from garden centres around the region and identifies common “weedy species” that people are likely to find in their gardens, with suggestions of similar but benign plants that they could plant instead.

“Some of the plants are very common, such as holly and ivy,” Environment Southland Biosecurity Officer Randall Milne said. “They have been widely planted in people’s gardens and we are now finding them in what remains of our natural areas around the region. If we leave them there, they will eventually take over, and we will lose much of the plant and animal diversity that makes Southland such a great place to live.”

Gardeners who take up the call to “Plant Me Instead” will be helping in two ways.

“They will be attacking the seed source that is spreading pest plants into our natural areas, and they will also be saving themselves and other ratepayers money, because every weed we stop “jumping the fence” is one less weed that has to be cleared,” Mr Milne said.