Round up of the May weekend

Our Spring Planting weekend was a quiet affair. The seedlings nurtured by Francis Cincotta were/are extraordinary – never seen such healthy plants ready to get their feet in the ground. 162 of them.  It was a small but dedicated team of volunteers who came to do a bit of walking, talking, and planting: Puck and Monty, Dean and Callum, Viki, Rob, Sid and Malachi – and three dogs.  All were kept under complete voice control.  Except the dogs who ran about and had a ball.

The rain that preceded our weekend by a few days was timely.  Jack hammers were not needed after all.  The dam, which only a week ago was a sorry silty puddle, is now a good 3/4 full.  The relocated tank, standing aloof from it’s friend the shed, now has 1/4 full and water on tap. The gullies showed signs of the rigours of a peak flow of course – but the little dams we are building all have back-fills of silt showing that they are slowing down the run-off in big rain events.

We planted a humble 35 plants.  Twenty to face the harsh conditions on the hilltop, and fifteen to supplement the Spring plantings on the eastern ridge.
There is very good news in terms of success rates of our spring plantings.  Despite drought conditions our plantings up on the hill top from Spring had a 50% success rate.  The plantings of ironbarks on the eastern Ridgeline had a 70% success rate.
That’s very encouraging.  I believe this is a direct result of taking a little more time with each plant going in – our policy of planting fewer plants well to get the same return in terms of recruited shrubs and trees.  Good deep holes, with a swale to catch run off, a strong as poss guard, and a good watering.  Brilliant.
We’ll organise an Autumn planting reprise to get some more in the ground very soon.  A Sunday day trip later in May beckons.  Stay tuned.

Sid Larwill

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