Identifying pampas from the native toetoe in early October
Now is a good time to identify the South American pampas – an invasive plant with seeds causing problems for pack-houses at picking time.
The wind-borne seeds attached to fruit are a serious reject factor, excluding fruit from some markets. Make sure that you can identify pampas and destroy all plants growing near your orchard.
Pampas flower heads emerged earlier this year (March/April) but are still very upright and although weather-beaten, remain quite cone-shaped.
Toetoe flowered in November/December and the flag-like flower heads have all but disintegrated. Toetoe will flower again in the next two months.
Control pampas by carefully applying glyphosate herbicide, one part to 50 parts water (2%). Some contractors manage to chainsaw it off at ground level and apply one-part glyphosate to 20 parts water to the basal leaves. Wear protective clothing/gloves if getting into pampas.
If you can see lots of upright flower heads in early October, it’s pampas.