Sweet: Sugar trialed to manage weed infestations

Sprinkling sugar at Wattle Grove Lake.

Sprinkling sugar at Wattle Grove Lake.

Liverpool mayor Wendy Waller said council's sugar treatment trial to manage weed infestations has been "promising".

It follows on from a successful trial at Wattle Grove Lake which is known for Bidens pilosa(Farmer's friends) infestation.

Two test plots were established side-by-side and one was treated with a thin layer of white sugar before being mulched.

Sugar was reapplied to the treatment plot every three months and at six months no Bidens were germinating.

Mayor Waller said the use of sugar was based on a scientific study conducted by the CSIRO which found sugar reduces seed germination rates of some herbaceous weeds, helping native groundcovers establish.

"The results from the test plots in Wattle Grove Lake are promising, by reducing the use of harmful herbicides it leads to more economical means of weed control," she said.

"We want to retain our native vegetation and Bidens pilosa is a common weed that is easily spread by human activities and can outgrow native plant species.

"The bush regeneration team has an integrated approach to weed management and are trialling methods that are better for the environment and less labour intensive.

"The team is applying this methodology across several other locations and will continue monitoring their progress over the coming months.