Case study - stony barrier & waterway on basalt soil
Successful revegetation on the baslalt plains requires careful selection of the tree and shrub species. These plants have to be able to thrive in the very wet and sticky winter soils that turn dry and crack in the summer. Pat & Helen graze sheep and crop their 550 acres near Shelford, Victoria and have been successfully establishing trees and shrubs on these heavy basalt clay soil for over 15 years.
Why plant stony barriers
Pat & Helen have focused on planting out their section of the Warrambine Creek as well as their stony barriers. These stony barriers offer very little feed value and are ideal for revegetation because they are well drained and provide extra moisture for the trees through run-off and condensation off the rocks. Pat spends some time spotlighting on his planting sites so there are no rabbits and only a few hares which means there is no need for tree guards.
A new planting site is grazed short in autumn to allow better visibility and access for spot spraying which is done about a month before planting. Pat picks his way carefully through the stone while selecting the spots that grow the best grass, because that's where he finds the deepest patches of soil. He sprays out 1 metre wide strips on the creek and 1meter diameter spots on his stony barriers with a mixture of two herbicides, one to kill the weeds and another to stop any new weeds germinating for eight months or more. Planting is now done no later than late August to give the trees time to establish before the dry and windy spring weather sets in.
Plants we recommended
Pat & Helen's revegetation work has all been done with plants indigenous to their area. The following are examples of some of the species that have done well:
Black Wattle; Lightwood; Drooping Sheoak; Sweet Bursaria; River Bottlebrush; River Red Gum; Swamp Gum; Hop Goodenia; Moonah; Snowy Mint-bush; Tree Violet.