Weeds in any farming situation, are the NUMBER ONE consideration. In broadacre agriculture the research and funding placed into developing new chemicals and methods is substantial, so progress is fast, however with growing Everlastings, these recommendations are not available.. so it is a little bit of trial and error!
Everlastings are in the family ‘Asteraceae’, which is the same family as Capeweed and is impossible to control. It produces the same fluffy seed and forms a large taproot to cover the ground surface, stealing nutrients and water.
Chemical methods within an everlasting crop cannot control capeweed. The only removal method is mechanical, using a shovel or pulling the weeds by hand.
Of course, the best method is to control capeweed BEFORE the everlasting crop is even attempted. To do this, after the opening rains (or using irrigation), either fallow the site, keeping it bare and removing the germinating weeds until weeds are in small numbers… or chemically spray the site. If your weed burden is still large, it may be worth waiting a little longer for further germinating weeds and repeating this control method, ensuring the most success… then planting.
Grass weeds can be controlled in Everlastings. If your Everlasting site has predominantly ryegrass or other grassy weeds, use label recommendations to spray evenly over the crop. The sooner you spray the grassy crop the better, as there is always some damage to the Everlastings with any spray.
As mentioned, it is important to prepare your Everlasting site in the years prior. Monitor the weed burden and look to control the weeds, so when you plant, there is not an overwhelming burden. Any weed allowed to grow will leads to 1000s of plants, and soon the site will be exhausted by numbers. There is also the chance of a weed-seed bank in the soil. Weeds will come up in future years, even though you thought you had controlled them. Everlastings are not strong vigorous plants, so weeds soon become dominant. It is often a method to ‘tickle up’ the soil to aid with germinating these weeds, having an even better chance of control. Do this by watering, gently raking and waiting ten days, then removing the germinated weeds. Repeat if necessary.
Another method is to plant a legume as a break crop before seeding the Everlastings. This will add plenty of nutrition and nitrogen and provide a different option for chemical control of weeds for the year before planting the Everlastings.