As I had plenty of time to contemplate things, I pondered on the mathematics of bushland management, specifically, what is going to happen as the number of Geraldton Carnation Weeds declines? Big patches of weeds are easy to find. Individual GCW plants are quite a challenge to find - they are typically only a few centimetres tall, often surrounded by grass, and not really visible until they are advanced enough to flower or produce seeds.
At present we approach the challenge of weed control by working around the edges of infestations, trying to find the boundary, and working towards the centre. So, we are always searching for that individual plant on the outer edge of the infestation. And, I am sure we miss many of these outliers, so the edges of infestations become more and more diffuse and difficult to define.
This strategy is only as good as our ability to find those outliers. If we miss the outliers, and they then go to seed, then we will have an even bigger problem next year - and GCW has seeds that may last up to 7 years in the soil.
Our response to this problem is to visit the same area several times during the season. This increases the likelihood of picking up the outliers, especially as the plants become more visible as they mature. The problem of course is that this puts heavy demands on our time - reducing our capacity to focus on other weeds.
Any suggestions on how to deal with this? Suggestions welcome.