what a difference a year makes!

By robynjay On April 10th, 2017

For three months during winter 2016 I worked to clear the eastern half of our land of snake weed. It’d be over an acre in size.

Previous owners had tackled the problem by slashing; hiding the top but strengthening the roots, and spreading seed. By slashing they also stopped all natives from regenerating and the result was a wasteland with only mature trees.

May 2016 snake weed

Three months of weed pulling left me with a nasty case of tendonitis but a first run over was done. In September I successfully applied for some ‘Land for Wildlife’ finding to plant 500 trees both here and in a cleared area near the house.

Since then we’ve had one of hottest and driest summers on record. It’s been too hot to do anything much outside, and far too dry for planting. But now with 100 trees nearly planted by the house I wandered across the creek and up the hill today armed with stakes and flagging tape to plan what comes next.

A strip down the northern edge of block (maybe 15%) has definitely grown back and will need some serious weeding as I plant. The balance however is looking great. Grasses, sedges, ferns etc are doing really well. There’s a very healthy scattering of Black Casuarinas (Allocasuarina littoralis) and quite a few eucalypts, wattles and other little native trees and shrubs starting to appear. Very exciting to see. With a few hundred more plants it’ll start to feel like a forest again.

April 2017 native regrowth

 

 

milestone

By robynjay On April 6th, 2017

In the process of weeding and re-vegetating 3 acres of land, I often wonder if I’m ever going to get on top of things. There’s just not enough hours available… or energy.

So today, with a cool autumn breeze blowing, it was with relief that I looked down over around 600 square metres of land 99.9% free of creeping succulent and snake weed. I’m over half way with it – just the top section to go, but I’m pleased to say that it’s under control and not at risk of escaping further. It’s a challenge though; every piece of root and runner sprawling out under thick forest mulch as the potential to re-infest. Lucky I have helpers!

Before:

After:

Now to get rid of the ‘nuclear waste’!

My reward? I’m off to Kumbartcho Nursery. It’s time to start planting.

 

all at sea

By robynjay On March 22nd, 2017

In 2016 we received a grant of $750 from the Moreton Bay Regional Council to purchase 500 tubestock trees for our revegetation project here at Hyde Rd. With the summer being so very hot and dry I’ve been waiting for rain and cooler weather before getting stuck into things; at least the former has now arrived.

So I’ve been down removing snake weed in preparation for the 1st stage of planting but to be honest I’m feeling a bit lost with where to start. Firstly the patch is on a hillside. I’m very conscious of erosion and how heavy rain will flow down the hillside. I know I need to design the planting to compensate, but how?

Secondly, I really don’t want to use weedicide. I do however need to grapple with weed competition around the plantings. Without spending a fortune I’m looking at a combination of weedmat and mulch but there may be a better way.

Thirdly I’m unsure about spacing of plants and also how to scatter different types of plant across the area – in clumps?, totally scattered?

Fourthly I’m hoping from advice from the nursery when I select the plants. Its a hot, dry hill, the soil varies and there’s a strip on the border of the forest that gets more shade. What on my list will do well?

Of the 500 to plant probably only 100 will go in this space so there’s a long and winding road ahead. Feeling just a tad overwhelmed at this point in time. Some support from the funding body would have been good or access to a support network in the very least.

 

a bit of scratching about

By robynjay On March 12th, 2017

The promise of a cooler day and some free hours enticed us down to the SW corner of the block to weed this morning.
<The dreaded succulent is creeping its way down towards the creek and I’m determined to stop it in its tracks and then work my way back uphill.>

There’s nothing the hens like more than to accompany us into the forest. They don’t wander far, spending most of the time within a few metres of where we’re working, scratching about and feasting on insects in the leaf litter. I’m sure they think we’re scratching too 🙂

 

the place called home

By robynjay On February 27th, 2017

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly a year since we left Sydney, friends, careers, familiar spaces and packed our precious belongings in pouring rain to head north to Qld. It’s been exciting, blissful, stressful, relaxing, frightening.

Each day is an adventure and it’s time to start capturing that. So here we go. New characters; same loves. New challenges; same focus.

We’ll see where the next year leads.

 

[CC FlickR image by tanakawho]