​​​​​​Gardening is a great Australian pastime.

Across the country, people turn to their gardens as a way to relax and enrich their lives.

It might surprise you that as a gardener – regardless of the size of your garden – you have a responsibility to uphold and protect our biosecurity status by keeping it free of plant pests and diseases.

Plant pests, weeds and diseases from small gardens can easily be spread, causing huge problems for Australia’s agricultural industries and to our native environment.

If you keep fruit trees, tend garden b​eds or buy plants or seeds online, (especially from overseas) you need to be aware of – and follow – good biosecurity practices for your property and garden.


Keep it local

If you’re purchasing goods online for your garden from overseas, especially seeds or unusual plants, you need to check whether they can be brought into Australia legally.

To avoid running that risk, why not take a trip to your local nursery? There, you can speak to staff who can provide you with useful advice, as well as seed and plants free from exotic pests and diseases.


Dispose of dropped fruit

Australia is fortunate to be free of many of the world’s most damaging plant pests.

One of the most devastating pests that could be a problem for your home garden or hobby farm is fruit fly.

Most areas of Australia are free of fruit fly species, but unintentional movement of larvae in infested host fruits or pupae in soil can pose a problem.

Good garden hygiene will ensure that this risk is reduced.

Removing and destroying fallen fruits reduces the number of breeding sites for fruit fly pests and in turn can slow the increase in population while supporting eradication efforts.


Manage weeds

Weeds may seem like more of a nuisance than a threat, but the impact they have on Australia’s agricultural production and environment is astounding.

Weeds can pose significant biosecurity problems in their own right, be hosts to some agricultural and horticultural pests and diseases, and can also impact on the health of livestock.

It’s important you know which weeds are common to your area and who to call if you spot anything unusual.

Proper removal and destruction of weeds from your garden is important in ensuring they do not spread.


​Report a biosecurity concern


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Last reviewed: 29 September 2020
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