CSIRO Researcher Dr Malcolm Miao with the weed mat
Gardening this spring? CSIRO’s got your weeds covered with a new biodegradable weed mat made from agricultural waste product linseed straw.
Our scientists have teamed up with the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation to fight weeds, the eco way.
Preliminary testing by CSIRO has shown the mat degrades in a few months, allowing it to be absorbed into the soil. Because it retains moisture and allows rainfall to soak into the soil, it also boosts worm activity.
Unlike other black plastic weed mats which can stay in the soil for years, the mat completely biodegrades. Weeds cost Australia a reported $5 billion a year and sixty million square metres of plastic weed matting is used in horticulture, gardens, parks and homes.
CSIRO believes the mat could benefit growers involved with organic and biodynamic production as well as manufacturers and suppliers of agricultural and garden products. Other waste materials, such as hemp and banana fibre, could also be used to make the mat.