Free help to control gamba grass
You can get free herbicide, spray equipment loans and weed management advice from the Northern Territory Government to help control gamba grass in the Top End, including Katherine.
This is called the Gamba Action Program.
The 2017 to 2018 program is now closed. Read about the results of the 2017 to 2018 Gamba Action Program .
How to get help
You can get free herbicide and borrow spray equipment to help control an infestation of gamba grass.
Step 1. Find a loan location
Read below to get the contact details for loan equipment.
Step 2. Draw a property plan
At the loan location you will be asked to draw a plan of your property that will be used to decide how much herbicide you need.
Include the following in your property plan:
- property location
- land size
- location and size of gamba grass infestations.
Step 3. Fill in an agreement
At the loan location you will need to fill in an agreement to get herbicide or borrow equipment.
Step 4. Complete a survey
At the loan location you will be given a survey to fill in about the Gamba Action Program.
Read below about using spray equipment.
A herbicide is a chemical that destroys or slows the growth of plants, especially weeds. The herbicide used to control gamba grass is called glyphosate.
You must correctly use herbicides as they can cause immediate and long-term illnesses.
There are laws and instructions you must follow when using herbicides, these include Commonwealth and Northern Territory law.
Go to the Australian Government website to read about Commonwealth laws.
Read more about NT herbicide laws.
Follow the instructions
Under the law, you must follow instructions on the herbicide label.
Go to a copy of the Ken-up Aquatic 360 herbicide instructions .
For more advice on using herbicides go to page eight of the NT Weed Management Handbook .
Read the material safety data sheet for more information including:
- potential health effects
- first aid
- personal protective equipment
- spill and disposal procedures.
Using herbicides in the environment
You should follow these guidelines for safe herbicide use:
- don't spray plants other than declared weeds as glyphosate can kill plants other than gamba grass if it comes into contact with them
- don't spray in windy conditions as spray drift can damage plants you are not targeting
- don't contaminate dams, waterways or sewers with glyphosate.
The Poisons Information Centre can give you advice in case of a medical emergency.
Phone: 131 126
Using glyphosate on gamba grass
How to mix glyphosate
- mix herbicide with rainwater, tap water or good quality bore water
- not use creek or dam water that may contain clay or organic matter
- consider adding a wetting agent to help the glyphosate get through the hairy surface of gamba grass leaves
- use marker dye to show if you missed any weeds.
Planning to spray your property
- spray only when leaves are green and at least 40cm long - glyphosate can be absorbed only by growing leaves and stems
- spray early in the Wet Season, before it reaches full height - this gives better results for less herbicide and effort
- before spraying, consider removing tall, dry grass stems and encouraging new growth of mature gamba grass - controlled burning or slashing may help with this
- allow time for slashed, mown, grazed or burnt gamba grass to grow new leaves before spraying
- always spray before seeding
- gamba grass is still susceptible to herbicide when flowering.
How to spray
- Adjust your nozzle to produce medium to heavy size droplets so you can get full coverage of the plant while reducing spray drift.
- Coat the entire plant - each stem of a gamba grass tussock is an individual plant, if any stems are missed the plant can recover.
- Spray until herbicide drips from the leaves to make sure it gets through the fur on the leaves.
- Don't spray in windy conditions to avoid damage to non-weed plants nearby.
- Use only aquatic approved glyphosate near watercourses to avoid harming plants and animals in the water.
- You should spray in the mornings, and at least an hour before rain as it takes an hour for plants to absorb the herbicide.
Where to prioritise
Follow up after your spray
Using spray equipment
Slide-on spray units
- are lightweight and small
- can fit on the back of a utility vehicle
- come in 50, 100 or 200 litre sizes
- have 6m of 8mm hose
- use a 12 volt car battery - the battery is not included.
How to use a slide-on spray unit
- are large and require a trailer or ute
- come in 200 or 600 litre units
- have options of twin reel sprayers
- have a retractable 50m or 100m hose
- run on unleaded petrol.
How to use Quikspray equipment
Loan location contacts
These locations can provide free herbicide and/or spray equipment for gamba grass control.
|Freds Pass Sport and Recreation Reserve||
Bees Creek Road|
See location map
Monday and Friday only|
7.30 to 10.30am
2.30 to 5.30pm
|0427 272 586|
|Territory Wildlife Park||Cox Peninsula Road|
|0401 114 912|
|Bushfires NT||42 Cameron Road|
|08 8976 0098|
|Coomalie Community Government Council - herbicide only||141 Cameron Road|
|08 8976 0058|
Weed Management Branch depot |
13 Crawford Street
|Friday 1pm to 4.15pm||08 8973 8857|
|Dundee||08 8978 2107|
|Wagait Beach||Wagait Beach Shire Council||0427 133 959|
|Darwin||Weed Management Branch depot|
40 Wallaby Holtze Road
|On request||08 8999 4567|
|Beatrice Hill Volunteer Fire Brigade||Beatrice Hill||0457 212 309|
Gamba location and density map
The map below shows the locations and density of gamba grass across the Darwin rural area.
Data for this map was collected by aerial survey conducted by the Weed Management Branch in 2016.
Find out more about gamba grass.
Last updated: 20 June 2018