An excellent turn out for our first Central West Lachlan Landcare meeting in Forbes. We were looking ahead to things we hope to undertake over the next six months, including a social planting day at Gum Swamp in Forbes, another Motley Crew event at PAC Park in Parkes, assisting with Forbes Food Revolution Day on 19 May and National Tree Day events in Parkes and Forbes and Eco Day at the end of July. These events are in addition to training and courses we have planned. Next meeting will be in Parkes on March 15. This week I am focussing on preparation for tree planting season, which, depending on the year is usually promising from autumn through to early spring. Site preparation is key to success. If the area has been cleared of native vegetation, it is recommended that you spot spray or clear the surface where you want to plant for 50–60cm around the area.
If the site has natural vegetation, it is best to avoid extra impact on the soil. We have planted in sites that have been ripped and sites that have had no work. The key is to know your soil, know how well it retains water and will you be able to do follow up watering if the season is not wet? Starting early in the season when you know there is a likelihood of some good follow up rain is recommended. Have a look at what is already growing in your area. If you can plant local species that is always recommended and source local seed, even better. Linking corridors is not only a practical way to give crop or livestock protection and increase bird life, but looks aesthetically pleasing. If you have stock that are likely to be anywhere near the plantings, fence the area. No-one wants to waste time planting healthy tubestock or direct seeding just to have stock destroy your hard work. Once you have the site prepared and the soil is looking fab, with plenty of moisture, you can either dig your hole or use a Hamilton tree planter (there are also other planting options depending on your soil quality). Mulch, Mulch, Mulch! Whether you use newspaper, processed garden litter or hay, the mulch keeps the weeds at bay and retains moisture. Visit centralwestlachlanlandcare.org or on facebook. Until next week, happy Landcaring!