First male Weeding Woman Silvio Di Canto shares tips on garden maintenance

Silvio Di Canto.
Silvio Di Canto.

SILVIO Di Canto unearthed a wealth of gardening knowledge in his youth among olive trees, grapevines and vegetable beds on his family’s southern-Italian farm.

Now residing in Perth, he brings these good-old-fashioned Italian tricks – and a deep love and respect for the land – to home-grown gardens.

Something of a trailblazer, Di Canto is the first male ‘Weeding Woman’, launching his own franchise in Fremantle last month.

Taking care of about 15 gardens a week, he and his team weed, dig, trench, edge, fertilise and cultivate as well as prune, shape, sweep, plant and mulch.

“I love to put my hands on the soil and transform messy gardens into something better,” the green thumb said.

According to Di Canto, many Perth residents avoided garden maintenance at this time of year and allowed weeds to take over.

The worst culprits include cudweed, dandelion, bindii (jo-jo), creeping oxalis and clover.

“The best and most natural way to get rid of weeds is to properly pull them out from the soil, making sure you remove the entire root,” Di Canto said.

“You can use a weeding tool or your hands.

“Some difficult weeds do require spray treatment.”

Di Canto said now was the ideal time to plant flowering annuals to ensure a beautiful display for Christmas and beyond.

His top picks are impatiens, petunia, dianthus, sweet alyssum, snapdragon, sweet pea, primrose, stock, calendula and begonia.

He also said homeowners should attend to their garden beds now with wetting agent, fertiliser and mulch before the heat of summer kicked in.