Friends of Grasslands

WATCHING GRASS GROW

Ever since I went to the Friends of Grasslands workshop in 2014 I’ve been itching to try my hand at revegetating native grasses, rather than only trees and shrubs.

PB030862Of course, that’s not all that easy to do.  Sue McIntyre has some good suggestions, but we are mostly forced to deal with weeds where we can, and hope that native grasses and forbs can do all right on their own.

On both farms, my parents made a big effort to “improve” the pasture with introduced grasses such as phalaris, clovers, and lucerne, which increase the carrying capacity for sheep  (you hope),  but need fertilizer and water to survive. During the “Millenium Drought” from 2001-2008, it was the native grasses that kept at least some coverage on the bare hills because of their ability to withstand lack of water. Continue reading

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WEEDS PART 1- THE BURNING QUESTION

Farming, like nature, is messy.  It’s nice to see the smooth green grass of spring covering the hills and disguising the rocks.  The modern golf course look.   Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily what you need either for wildlife or for grazing stock. Continue reading

THE SCOOP ON BUTTON WRINKLEWORT

In my short career as a radio journalist for 2XX in Canberra, I had precisely one news scoop.

That was, tah dah, the discovery of a new species of wildflower, weirdly called the “button wrinklewort”, at the Queanbeyan Municipal Dump in 1983.

button wrinklewort closeupIt seemed sort of cool that someone had found a new flower, even if it was rather modest-looking.

And located in a dump. Continue reading