Our house sits amongst 17 acres of wandoo woodland. Unfortunately, decades of grazing by livestock has meant that mature trees were pretty much all that was left and I wanted to change that.
In 2015, David fenced our bush off from the paddock, excluding the sheep. And I took to the rabbit population with a vengeance – nothing was going to grow with those pests nibbling it all off. The boys bought me my own mattock for my birthday, and I smashed warren after warren, eventually making quite a dent on the rabbit numbers.
In 2016, we were fortunate to receive funding through Katanning Landcare and the West Australian Governments Natural Resource Management Program to trial some techniques to revegetate the understorey.
We have two sites, which David scarified using a tractor-drawn combine. The site closer to the house is 0.2ha, and has been direct seeded with a mix of local understorey species, including Acacias, Melaleucas, Daviesias, Austrostipa and Hakeas. Despite 12 years as a Landcare Officer, I’d never actually done direct seeding, so it was a first for me!
The second site is 0.1ha and is using seedlings. Half have been tree-guarded and half not.
As spring progresses, half of each site will also be sprayed with soil water – a mix made from soil of healthy local woodland with the intent of re-introducing important fungi and microbes to my degraded sites.
We will then monitor to see which treatment has worked best on our site.
But we’ve already noticed the impact of simply keeping the sheep and rabbits away – here’s a photo of fringed lily, the first time I’ve seen it in our bush 🙂