Native grassland establishment at Euroa Arboretum

grasslands2
grasslands1

If you have wandered into Euroa Arboretum lately, you would be forgiven for wondering what on earth is happening.

Graders, trucks and excavators are not a common sight normally, not to mention the burning activity around the grounds. All of this activity is part of our plan to restore our grasslands to something of their native diversity.

Two years ago we began with some scalping work – stripping the top 10cm of soil from the site and thereby removing the surplus nitrogen, phosphorous and weed seed that had accumulated over the years as a sheep property. Testing of soil at different depths initially identified that 10cm was the depth the weeds and nutrients dropped out of our soil profile. Native grasses and wildflowers are adapted to soils that have low nutrients and their tussocks allow space for lilies and daisies. They don’t survive well under our farming conditions. We then sowed this site with 60 different species of native grass, peas, lilies, daisies and groundcovers as seed. The results have been so remarkable, we thought we would do this again in areas where we had struggled for years with introduced grasses like Paspalum and Sweet Vernal Grass dominating the site. So if you go for a walk over winter at the Arboretum, or drop in for a fish, keep an eye on the bare earth – it’s a work in progress and we hope it will be transformed in the next couple of years. Check out our two year old grassland this spring. I guarantee it will be an extraordinary floral display. If you do have time, drop into the nursery on Monday or Thursday – there are some fabulous plants on offer.

Cath Olive
Euroa Arboretum Project Manager