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Tallinn to restart partial mowing to fight weeds

Tallinn to restart partial mowing to fight weeds

Tallinn suspended mowing in city parks and green areas at the beginning of June to account for the dry period; however, it is now permitted to partially mow and remove by hand common orache and any other weeds whose spread inhibits the growth of more desirable, diverse green spaces.

Deputy Manager at the Tallinn Urban Environment and Public Works Department Tarmo Sulg says that the city is allowing mowing at new construction sites and landscaping following excavation works, where the common orache and other invasive species dominate. “We have once again allowed our contracted partners to mow, but only in areas that have been overrun with weeds,” said Sulg. “The uncontrolled spread of invasive plant species disrupts the growth of both regular grass as well as diverse green spaces and as such intervention is inevitable.”

First and foremost, this decision affects recently completed construction projects where the desired greenery has yet to sprout and become viable. For example, a flower meadow was sown next to Rannamõisa Road, which was reconstructed last year. Today, the common orache dominates this area, whose foliage size and hardiness has caused a complete sunlight deficiency in the planted flower seeds, as a result of which they have developed growth defects and will most likely lead to the destruction of the seed in the entire area.

The mowing of numerous invasive species, which require a rapid response, also continues. “The Kadrioru Park meadow areas have seen the rapid spread of ground elder, docks and sorrels, various species of nettle and meadowsweet over the last decade,” said Kadrioru Park Director Ain Järve. “Thanks to rainy weather, these have developed into a critical phase, where in order to stop their continued spread, the mowing and later collection of any residue for composting will begin immediately after the end of flowering.”

The suspension on mowing will remain for all other plants. Tallinn has continuously reduced mowing in its green spaces. New contracts for the maintenance of green spaces have been in effect since 1 December of the previous year, which prescribe less intensive mowing of greenery compared to before. Additionally, this year, Tallinn has planted 14 flowering meadows across the city in order to enrich the urban environment, increase biodiversity and mitigate the urban heat island effect. In total, 3.5 hectares of meadows with native plant life will be planted.