We have recently embarked on a project of testing methods for restoring native ground cover to the Reserve as many of our target weed species decline in number.
This will help to control the weeds by occupying the ground and increasing the native seed bank. The benefits of this are to improve the habitat for native animals and birds as well as making the reserve a more attractive place to visit. For example if the tall exotic grasses are replaced by natives there will be more food for kangaroos (since they do not eat those tall exotic grasses) and a better habitat for other native animals.
With climate change becoming an increasing problem in the future it is prudent to plant species which can recover from a controlled burn and also provide less of a fuel load than the existing weeds. We will be using plants recommended by the Parks and Conservation Service fire ecologist (see grassland restoration). The Weetangera Paddock has a lot of bare patches caused by the controlled burn so initially we be concentrating our efforts in there.
We aim to do this by:
- Controlling the weeds close to and within native ground cover so that their seeds may germinated and grow successfully. This is done all year round with hoes or weed wands.
- Collecting seeds, germinating them and planting out the seedlings.
The work involved in 2. above is easily split up into several small tasks.
- Collecting seeds
This done on a few days a year when the seeds are ready - a different time for each species. A permit is required to collect seeds within reserves and national parks
- Germinating the seeds
At the correct time of the year the seeds are sown in a propagating mix in small trays and kept moist until the seedlings are ready to be pricked out and put into tubes of propagating mix. This could be done in a very small space at your own home. Normally done in Spring and Autumn.
- Pricking out and put into tubes of propagating mix.
This is most efficiently done at one location. The resulting tube stock then has to be watered every few days until it is ready to be planted out.
- Planting out at the Pinnacle close to a water cube and then watering until established.
This is time consuming work and the more hands the better. No experience is necessary since help and advice is given. If you are prepared to help please let us know so that we can arrange something.
Contact Len Taylor by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org