Bracken Fern on pastures - what to do?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Shell, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    thanks Pak.

    And then it goes into the soil.
     
  2. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    perhaps chuck in clover/vetch seeds /bombs
    crash graze resulting sward with cattle /hogs
    this works well with blady grass(which some folk feel threatend by)
     
  3. mike

    mike Junior Member

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    Oh Pebble,So how feasible is a half inch of cardboard and six inches of straw over bracken on a broad acre farm where it might be multi acres. I have re-established cattle pasture very successfully after using the wick method on bracken that was there earlier shading and choking out the grass species below the fronds. Shells original post was how he or she could get rid of bracken and return the land to pasture. And there was no herbicide residue in the soil after using brush off.
     
  4. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    Sadly, yes there is. No matter what herbicide you use, it effects the soil tremendously.
     
  5. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    I have 1300 ac to care for
    i need at least 20 % under tree cover
    I sometimes use Glyphosate cause i dont have time to hoe /mulch 3 ac of new trees each year and the two and three year old plots (i routinley research differant methods of weed controll)
    i get a bit hung up about it sometimes ,
    Minimising chemical use is the ultimate aim here
     
  6. matto

    matto Junior Member

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  7. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Hi Mike, I of course didn't suggest using cardboard and mulch in your situation. I'm not sure how you are measuring success at your place, and I'm open to the possibility that your method is a step up from the slash and burn practice that happens where I live. But I would want to see some evidence that you only needed to wick once, and that there is no residue (you really need to provide a citation for that claim). I'm curious to know what you think happened to the herbicide you used after the bracken died.

    The way I read Shell's original post was they wanted to avoid pesticide use. This is a permaculture forum, and it seems reasonable to focus on permaculture responses. In the rare occasions that that includes herbicide use, it still needs to be used in an overal permaculture context. I didn't hear that from you. Are you farming cattle using permaculture design? Or did you use the herbicide to set up a conventional cattle farm that isn't sustainable over time? One of the problems with pesticide use is that it precludes the development of sustainable practice, because it offers an apparently easy solution that doesn't require one to think differently in ways that lead to permanent agriculture. That's gotten us all into a lot of trouble.


    Andrew, working towards best practice makes a lot of sense. Have you done a permaculture design for your place?
     
  8. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    sort of !
    thanks Matto (i wonder why that tidbit isnt more widley publiciced ?)
     
  9. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Had a permaculture Bamboo farmer speak to me on the side about a similar product mixed with glyphosphate has been reported to kill bamboo. A few farmers have had to remove poor species choices from good land and they were trialling a lot of things.

    Seems direct wicking won't work (based on clumps being attempted on), but by mixing a particular product with another, allows absorption where absorption wasn't allowed before.
     
  10. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    We could write a book about permies using glyphosate... as long its an independant brand!

    Id like to try some stick farming :) In some spanish speaking countries herbicides have the same name as the traditional form of farming, they use the verb quemar, to burn, to set fire to. Which is whats happening really.

    Maybe there is support from Aboriginal re-gen crew doing controlled burns. Get some training from the Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade. For a laugh!
     
  11. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    A tiny cell for the animals (hogs) so that it is all gone in 2 days and then moved; I would also add massive amounts of Earthworms (Nightcrawler) in addition to seed bombing.

    Pebble, you are welcome. I actually kept mine and other ferns on the side of a fence along the road going up to the house from the highway. I am trying to keep a small border area (1 to 2m)of "left alone" zone along the property.
     
  12. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    What is bracken fern good for? What are the conditions it likes best?
     
  13. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    I think it is a bioaccumulator of pottasium ?
    shade------ it is cooler in the shade!
    inspiring national pride!

    You should come over and play sometime _--Dave!
     
  14. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    Mike is bracken a problem under: Oaks, bunyas ,coral tree, cassia locust, willow , or other deciduous species or even angophora ,in your area?

    the problem is the solution!!
     
  15. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    The more probing you do, the more you find out.

    This particular permie bamboo man was adamant he would never use it, but the information was passed on to him through a farmer doing a decent amount of research in the area.

    Cut and wick is accepted where our other place is, for reasons of a reduction in effort for the aging population, I assume.
     
  16. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    That is correct amis.
     
  17. Jason_H

    Jason_H Member

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    Considering a 150 acre property at the moment with bracken infestation due to lack of pasture care. The real estate agent said it was a simple case to push it all up into a heap and burn it but I tend to think they will tell you what you want to hear to get a sale.

    Realistically how much $/acre should I budget for remediation where the total amount of acreage requiring bracken removal and seeding of pasture is around 50 acres?
     
  18. antonius

    antonius Member

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    Try a test area, use a spray of high strength -- naturally made acetic acid --vinegar--dont use the salt and soap additions some recipes have --your soil and microbes dont like those--you are in a winecountry--so should be easy to get hold of--or head on down to the local supermarket--it needs to be a higher percentage though than the stuff we put on our chips--20 to 30%---i froze the water out of mine and sieved it out like a slushy--most industrial acetic acid is cracked / chemical made--a poison to the soil---tests done in the usa agricultural sector using natural acid have shown this to be as effective as gylco.--- my own use has been just around my yard were weeds and including bracken try and grow between the cracks in concrete walkways--i dont use it out on my plots/beds---for fear off spraying and killing the stuff i like to eat.Might also work better if an oil was blended into it as a carrier agent --a citrus based or olive even --sounds like a mixed salad dressing --just pop in a bit of crushed garlic---dont lik the fingers --this is strong stuff
     
  19. Jason_H

    Jason_H Member

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    Thanks for the idea Antonius, I hadn't considered acetic acid as a herbicide. I would think it wont be too selective though so will depend how thick the bracken is as to whether this would also wipe out beneficial pasture species.

    Most bracken removal methods I have read involve repeated slashing, and/or spraying with commercial herbicides, to weaken and kill the root system. Spraying is something I want to avoid if possible and also there is a cost involved in the slashing option as I don't have a tractor and slasher (yet).

    I will chat with a few local farmers I come into contact with, though most of them are your typical conventional farmers (i.e. sow with super, spray weeds, etc)
     
  20. antonius

    antonius Member

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    yes it wont be selective but it does breakdown a lot quicker and far less side effect on the soil--the usa tests show ph recovery in a week back to previous level ---but that was on a peat based soil--your conditions may vary --but it will still allow something else to be over sown that could get established alongside the bracken before it dominates again and build up the plant species variation.
     

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