This one is on our hitlist.
Oils aint oils, and weeds aint weeds. We have a lot of weeds that come and go. Some we tolerate, some we eat, some we manage, and SOME that are just plain nasty and must go if ever detected here. This is one of them. Erodium – ‘Storksbill’ or ‘corkscrew’ weed. Grrr.

🚧 Weed Warrior, NOT Weed Expert

First things first though, I’m no weed expert.  I observe, research, ask locals, check government weed lists, and share our own weedy experiences. We hope these weedy stories are interesting, but they are not at all technical advice. Just sayin’.  x

🧨 Storksbill to Corkscrew

All species of Erodium have seeds that form into storksbill shaped pods like these pictured, with a purple or pink flower that looks a bit like a geranium. RIGHT NOW in Spring is when they are ready to seed. When seed matures and is released, the storksbill pops open and five corkscrew-like seeds spin out. Whilst an impressive marvel of nature, the ‘drilling’ action of this seed can effectively get into not only soil to grow, but like other sharp seeds, get into your pets coat and even skin. Nasty.

🧨 From bust to boom

We’ve seen them here near Ballarat, but there were quite a few at our old place in Bendigo years ago – just a small patch but needed attention a few years running. They don’t like healthy competition; taking hold after other perrenial species have died off in hard times, growing slowly during winter then with a solid rainy spring, boom into a shiptonne really quickly. Our doggos have thick coats so I keep a look out every spring.

🧨 CatchMow and Rot.

Our strategy for getting rid of as many seedpods as we can:

– Mow them WITH A CATCHER ON to collect up the stalks/flowers/seed when seed pods look like a storksbill (above pic)
– then dump the lot into a black plastic bucket, bin or bag and leave for at least 4 weeks in the sun to solarise and rot. We have a black bin especially for this. It is used for lots of nasty weeds. MWAHAHAA~
– then trench/compost the mush. Boom. Gone.
– Follow up with an entry in the garden journal to be sure to keep a look out again this time next year.
 
If we decide to also spray, it would be a selective broadleaf type and do that afterwards. Priority is get those seed heads off. Next year getting rid of them BEFORE the storkbills appear is the best plan. 

🗺 The weed map

If your place is quite big, or you have a litany of weeds to deal with, then a Weed Map is a great idea.  
Grab a snap from Googmaps or some such online, enlarge, print out and mark in over the year where your problem areas are, with notes as to the best time of year to address each type.
That could be mowing, hand weeding, fertilising lawns, topdressing, selective spraying.
You garden journal really is the key here to remembering from year to year when to take action. For many weeds, waiting til you see them is too late.

Look wide; grow well, folks 🌿