What I've done recently.

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by S.O.P, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    The photos from this update uploaded haphazardly. Mostly a Vetiver-based post, showing hedges at various stage of growth and hedginess. One photo shows the biomass thrown in behind a 2 year old hedge, moisture was retained under this litter. Some 2 year old Lomandra under a Rhodosphaera showing you can plant into pasture grass and with a single mulching plus a few handweedings you can reduce the pressure on the tree you are trying to retain (replace a grass with a less negative grass). A Marula tree in a guard and a roadside python. Some photos of the native bee fodder planting trying to dominate the Setaria and other grasses through direct seeding of Pigeon Pea (struggling under wallaby pressure) and planting of Acacia fimbriata tubes about the place, the Crotalaria pops up by itself as a good naturalised weed.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2014
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Looking great mate. Can't wait until my vetiver is like that :)
     
  3. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,778
    Likes Received:
    142
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    gardening, reading, etc
    Location:
    near St. Charles, MI, USoA
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    -15C-35C, 10cm rain/mo, clay, full sun, K-G Dfa=x=Dfb
    beauty! and love the snake too! :)
     
  4. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    One is an old hedge, could be nearly 10 years old. Good example of filling the gaps when you plant the hedge, I've tried to close the gaps with new Vetiver plants and it's still not even close to closing after nearly 2.5 years. Lucky this hedge wasn't put in an erosion area. It's on the top of a pond wall, very dry and high from water. Always growing though.

    To keep in the back of your mind, always maintain the hedge and replant, particularly if plants don't thrive or die within that first season otherwise it won't work as silt and water control properly.

    You may see some of my hedges not planted correctly, particularly the one on the rock wall. 30cm gaps take a very long time to close, I have a hedge here in Brisbane still not closed after 3 years. Always plant at 10-15cm centres, prefer 10. I figured if there was a rock wall catching silt, the plants could be planted further apart to make them go further, just for mulch purposes. Unfortunately, that may cause people to think that is how they are planted and then may be disappointed when water runoff still travels through the hedge.

    A guide here is probably the best to read and keep for reference as it includes height differences for hillside establishment and a few photos.

    https://www.vetiver.org/USA_Vetiver Installation Guide_2012.pdf

    There are a few about. Had some bad news the other day that I heard through the grapevine, the big Daddy snake that was a regular visitor to the area for the last 20 years was found dead due to unknown reasons. This snake had reportedly sized up a newborn human for a while. Here is the two of the only pics I have of it. Measured just shy of 4m as a corpse:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2014
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Beautiful carpet. That PDF is ridiculously useful. Saved, thanks :)
     
  6. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I'll just throw these pictures up quickly. I was taking them for another Vetiver group I post to at times.

    First hedge is a 30cm apart, 3 year old, that is partially shaded by an Acacia fimbriata. Gaps are getting there to closing but if you had to use Vetiver for erosion control, that's way too long.

    [​IMG]

    From straight on. The shade causes it to grow slower than the other Vetiver hedges I have, which is ok. I cut it about two times per year and then mow up the debris, carry it up and spread it inside my yard to distribute the nutrients higher in the landscape.

    [​IMG]

    This hedge existed before the fence and most probably was posted earlier in this thread (or my previous one). The gaps were filled where the posts are with plants afterwards. The plants were cut down to ground level and yielded a lot of biomass. The front of this hedge is cut 3-4 times a year, the back and top once because it's slightly awkward.

    [​IMG]

    The mulch on the soil/woodchip surface. This is a nature strip bed that doesn't get watered, only the hardiest of plants survive the Winter/Spring. The perennial Greek Basil is always teeming with bees so I upped the amount of plantings around the place for that reason. It's good to teach kids about Euro bees on these too, you can pat them while they work on the flowers and they are less scared of them now.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,778
    Likes Received:
    142
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    gardening, reading, etc
    Location:
    near St. Charles, MI, USoA
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    -15C-35C, 10cm rain/mo, clay, full sun, K-G Dfa=x=Dfb
    i have worked with bees in the gardens all around me for many years and rarely get stung. when i do it because of two things, i've either grabbed a bee in a flower when i was harvesting the seeds and accidentally grabbed the flower/bee. and the other times are when i've got clothes loose enough that the bees can get trapped inside. otherwise they can be a few inches away and working on the flowers and they don't attack. i walk carefully and patiently too so they are brushed aside gently.

    hornets/wasps are more aggressive because they are usually defending nests. i'm much more careful of them as they can sting multiple times. ow!

    thanks for more snake pics. :) wish i had a few of those here they'd put a dent in the groundhog population... our snakes are too small for those.
     
  8. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2014
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Looks great SOP. It is going to take me a while to propagate for my entire berm...

    That perennial basil looks great. I know nothing about it but am now off to research again! :)
     
  9. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    https://www.greenpatchseeds.com/organic-plants/herbs-edibles/basil-greek.html - this is where I got it from. If you can wait to Spring (it would probably propagate during Winter), I can give you as much as you can take. Hundreds of cuttings as I use it as a chop and drop because it grows so big and fast. They root freely in water or even directly in moist soil, potting mix is easy.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The above photo was recently cut back to almost nothing as apparently it was "overgrown" (2 plants). All chop and drop, a foot thick. Most of the time I have at least 5 species of bee on it and that is always heartening to see. All year around too, all day for the Euros and others, the stingless head off after the morning and come back in the arvo.

    [​IMG]

    It's also the same succession plant I use for the hardy native trees. 5 Lomandra, 3 small cuttings of basil and the climax tree. Was burnt back to nothing in the frosty Winter, and most came back.


    Same, haven't been stung in years but somehow the kids are trained that bees are dangerous? School perhaps. They are barely aware of wasps besides what I tell them.
     
  10. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2014
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Certainly not at my school! I spread the good word :)

    I think the biggest issue is every man and his dog goes around claiming they are allergic because they got swelling/itchy the one time they got stung. I still get swelling and itchy and I have been stung a lot, that is normal.

    I also never get stung unless I am in the hives and even then only really at certain times of the year. That is to be expected. My partner didn't let me plant clover on the small amount of grass we will have which I can also understand. She was good enough to ok some of the euro hives being kept here :)

    Do you keep or have you ever thought of keeping Euro's SOP?

    Also I shall wait until spring for the perennial basil unless some crosses my path before then :)
     
  11. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Well, as a child I would swell, burn and feel my heart pumping in the swelling for hours. Later on in life, barely a thing.

    I lent out a stingless hive to the daycare, the kids seemed to enjoy that. And I assume it's the kids that all believe that bees are dangerous and they learn from a careless parent and it spreads from there.

    I'm a really lazy person, and without doing the barebones research, I'd assume it's too much effort for me. Plants and stingless I could ignore for a year or two and have no issues. The idea of it is nice, the expense probably borderline for me (can't even afford hive materials for stingless). I'd just know SHB would be the end of me. Parents-in-law live near an organic beekeeper and enjoy the newsletters he puts out. He runs courses and would swap plants for a course he said so there's that.

    I'll attempt a propagation of the basil just to see how it goes, straight in enriched potting mix. I'll keep them aside for you.
     
  12. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2014
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Cheers regarding the basil :y:

    SHB isn't a major concern, I hardly think about them other than using oil traps for weak hives. Strong hives/bees are not affected.

    Euros are certainly a lot of work though. I have mentioned it before but that is my main issue with the flow hives marketing, honeybees are not a set and forget honey producing machine.

    The start up cost is a bit painful (jacket/veil, smokers, hive tools etc). You can get it cheap or could make that stuff but it is equipment you use allll the time and quality is appreciated. Ongoing costs don't have to be bad. Boxes can be cheap depending where you find wood and top bar hives can be cheaper still. Bees are free after your initial stock (which is also free if you know someone ;) ).

    Your assessment is pretty spot on and can definitely see/agree with why you don't bother with them. If you ever decide to give it a go and don't mind temperamental bees I can sort you out with that initial stock.

    That is awesome regarding the stingless hives you lent out to day care. Really great to hear. We keep a T. carbonaria hive at school (I am a science teacher). There is a video of me splitting it in front of students floating around somewhere. It does very well where it is, I'll be splitting it again this spring.
     
  13. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Concrete drain visible in the background, a council's travesty of a creek. Dry small banks, no flow of water bar the destructive ones that every Council seems to get these days through poor design and excess hard surfaces. Subsoil mostly visible in places, heavy erosion in the last 3 years. Assorted Eucalypts indicating dry and tough.

    This little Lomandra hystrix has put on an excellent display of soil retention, you can actually see the roots holding on to the soil. I'm really happy I got this photo as I know I made the right choice for focussing on in my nursery. Problem is, in Council areas, they are very sensitive to glyphosphate and the contractors spray it like nobody's business so the planting is extremely gappy and sickly. The soil around the plant is lower as it's been heavily scoured in the last event, beside the footpath had huge areas of soil missing that were there earlier in the year during the heat of Summer. Vetiver a better choice there in the heavy flow areas but Lomandra is obviously great at the job too.

    While this Lomandra had held onto a thick chunk of soil, most of the Eucalypts were haphazard in their retention and significant roots and soil loss were visible. The importance of understory in plantings illustrated, particularly ones that have special attributes.
     
  14. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    [​IMG]

    Forgot I had this one from yesterday. This used to be mostly filled until the last rain event. Further up in the photo you can see some black colour, that's a nylon fishnet-type structure they must have laid during construction. So, it lasted quite a while but as the intensity of events rise these sort of structures are failing. A lot of riprap (grapefruit-sized rocks) have also been torn out of places, not only in this fake creek but elsewhere around the area.
     
  15. Chookie

    Chookie Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Nice pics, they really show how the effective the roots are. The Lomandras in my creek hold up great as well, even during really heavy flows. Will be planting a ton of it around here ;)
     
  16. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Urban permaculture problems. No sun during Winter.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2014
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Looking good for the moment even without the sun. How many hours are you getting?

    Great example that lomandra is :)
     
  18. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    About 3.5 to 4. I had to cut down my Yam and all my bananas just to grab a little more.

    Tossing up hiring a climber and talking with the neighbour about one-siding the tree and taking out the lower Leopard to gain a couple of hours. A lot of work though.
     
  19. Brian Knight

    Brian Knight Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Love the repurposed tanks for raised beds!
     
  20. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Wicking as well! Some Americans call them sub-irrigated planters.


    https://youtu.be/msCSPcek67w - Stingless bees on broccolini
     

Share This Page

-->