How do you plant a shelterbelt that will benefit your stock and pasture within four years of planting? How do you prepare a planting site so seedlings will survive and thrive, rather than waste time and money?
These and other questions were answered in a half-day workshop on 3 November organised by Landcare Tasmania. The workshop is part of the Meander Valley Landscape Project enhancing biodiversity and production values on high productivity land in the Meander Valley.
The project is focused on repairing the loss of biodiversity corridors and other ecosystem services, providing stock shelter and natural filtration, enhanced pasture productivity, and contributing to the maintenance of a healthy catchment. 21 sites in the Meander Valley are involved, each chosen with the aim of delivering long term sustainability of biodiversity and production values in this prime agricultural area.
Specialist Herbert Staubman from Habitat Plants in Liffey gave an incredibly useful presentation, in which he shared learnings and secrets from over 25 years of experience in growing Tasmanian plants. Participants learned that site preparation is of extreme importance, especially to get rid of grasses, which stop seedlings from getting the moisture they need and also exude chemicals that inhibit growth of other plants. Loosening the soil provides the best conditions for roots to grow, while keeping livestock and herbivores out is also critically important. Effort put into preparing sites well makes planting almost effortless and creates the conditions for plants to thrive.
Herbert Staubman said the message is clear and simple ‘Do it once, do it right! And don’t put a $2 plant into a 10 cent hole.”
“The workshop left everyone energised and ready to start preparing the ground for planting next spring.” said Peter Stronach from Landcare Tasmania. “There was overwhelming support for the refresher for those planting this year, and it will lead to well planned and prepared projects into the future.”
The project is supported with funds from the Tasmanian Government’s Landcare Actions Grants program and Landcare Tasmania through donations from the JM Roberts Trust.
Rod Knight, Landcare Tasmania CEO, said “This project builds on a number of other investments made over the years in the catchment by Landcare Tasmania, and will contribute to improved farm productivity and biodiversity across the landscape.”