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Thursday, August 11, 2011

On my nemesis, Bindis!

As usual on a Friday, I'm joining in with other bloggers and linking in to Rhonda Jean's blog, Down -to-Earth for 'On my mind Friday'.
Every year since coming to live in this house, I've been plagued by the weed known as bindi. It has other names apparently too; lawnweed, common soliva, Onehunga weed, and field burrweed. This weed starts appearing in the lawn in the latter part of winter. It has a 'fern-like' leaf which has been described as like a carrot top. How pretty you might comment...but bindis have prickles even in the early green/pretty fernlike  stages. But you leave them in the lawn at your peril...and also at your pets' peril. When these plants turn brown, they are just one mass of sharp (very, very sharp!) prickles and dig into barefeet, shoes and animal fur/hair. One year I thought that I would go around and just dig them up...even with gloves on in the early stage, it was too painful. In the days when we had plenty of water and could use sprinklers, we would water the lawn which made the grass grow thicker and smother the bindis and even though some survived they weren't a problem.

Bindis thriving in our dried up lawn

So for the last 3 years I've used the chemical 'Bindie'. It works quite well but unfortunately doesn't completely eradicate them so the bindis are back the next winter. I even used boiling water last year as a non-chemical solution. The infestation was just too big...I got exhausted running back and forth to boil the jug and bring it out to the yard again and again! lol last year's bindi 'crop' was just so overwhelming and I had to keep repeating the bindie treatment. Then I started to get a numbness around my lower jaw and muscle weakness in my arms...It was diagnosed as suspected poisoning/reaction to the 'Bindie'. But that has not been confirmed...but it was enough to scare me!

They're really flourishing in this patch near the back door!

So that brings us to this year...using the suggestion of Jerry from 'Gardening Australia', I am watering the bindi with a solution of iron sulphate . It is a remedy that Jerry's grandad used. Ever the optimist, I'm hoping that the iron sulphate salt works and that next year the numbers of bindis coming up is much, much less. Yes I googled the chemical and there was one site that said that iron sulphate or the over-use of iron sulphate is not good for the soil. But the same site said that it is not harmful to humans! :-)

Will this be the solution?

One good thing the suburb I used to live in, many backyards were infected with green ants...very nasty. If I had to choose my 'infestation'...I think I'd pick the bindis! lol


bettsylyn said...

My mum and dad used to live on an acre of land and had lots of bindiis. Mum's answer - although time consuming - was a pair of needle nose pliers. You can grab the top of the root under the leaves and they come out easily enough and you don't get any prickles in your fingers. Grab a comfy cushion to sit on and pull away - it becomes quite satisfying and with the weather we are having it could be nice to be in the sun.
I know you have lots of spare time on your hands (smile) said...

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