By: Michael Fox

Thursday last week the Mt Gravatt PCYC Bush Restorers joined us at Roly Chapman Bushcare to clear weed regrowth and plant 160 vines, grasses and shrubs to create an edge seal along the primary school fence.

Restoration work in Roly Chapman is part of the Mimosa Creek Precinct
Landscape Plan to link Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve with Bulimba Creek.

An edge seal is a barrier to protect natural bushland from weed invasion. For example, reduce the feathery seeds from the yellow flowering Flatweed (Catsear) Hypochaeris radicata blowing over from the school oval.

Clearing weed regrowth was required to prepare for planting. I started by explaining the Bradley Method of regeneration:

  • Word from strength – work from least weed infected to worst infected;

    Flatweed - Hypochoeris radicata - weeders

    Expert Weed Eradicators

  • Minimise soil disturbance to maintain the diverse life in the soil

The Bradley Method does require skilled workers. So it was a real pleasure to work with two expert Weed Eradicators to remove the deep-rooted Flatweed. The ground was soft from recent rain so with carefully pulling the the weed vertically allowed removal roots and all with minimal disturbance to soil.

Bush Restorers - Smoko - 7 Dec 2017 lowres

Weeding finished … relax before planting

Vines

Bushes

Grass/Sedge/Rush

Sheamus Sienna sorting plants - 7 Dec 2017 lowres

Sheamus and Sienna allocate plants

Planting - 7 Dec 2017 lowres

Water crystals first then plant

Plants were selected from species already found in Roly Chapman Bushland Reserve. Vines Hardenbergia violacea and Smilax australis are a good way to hid a chain-wire fence and provide food for butterfly caterpillar and fruit for fruit eating birds. Growing to 3 metres with a 2 metre spread and reddish green foliage the Coffee Bush Breynia oblongifolia is an attractive garden feeding butterfly caterpillars and decorative Green Jewel Bugs Lampromicra senator.

Green Jewel Bug - Lampromicra senator - front - 24 July 2016 lowres

Green Jewel Bug

Grasses like Barbed Wire Grass Cymbopogon refractus and Kangaroo Grass Themeda australis will create an edge seal below the shrubs and feed seed eating birds. Sedges and rushes like Tall Sedge Carex appressa and Common Rush Juncus usitatus thrive along the fence line where run off from the school oval creates a damp habitat most of the year.

Proud Bush Restorers - 7 Dec 2017 lowres

Mt Gravatt PCYC Bush Restorers

Thank you Mt Gravatt PCYC Bush Restorers … looking forward to welcoming you back in 2018.

 

 

 

 

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By: Michael Fox

sophie-jocelyn-ryan-and-noel-24-sept-2016

Griffith Mates Sophie, Jocelyn and Ryan with Noel

 

Our Griffith Mates partners have again provided valuable for restoration of our Fox Gully Bushcare site. At the last event for 2016 we first checked what species can now be found in the Small Bird Habitat.

Griffith Mates participated in the 2015 National Tree Day planting of the Small Bird Habitat so it was great to be able to show the increase in species diversity in just one year.

painted-pine-moth-orgyia-australis-25-sept-2016

Painted Pine Moth Orgyia australis caterpillar

The Small Bird Habitat is an initiative to create the specialised habitat our small forest birds like Variegated Fair Wrens Malurus lamberti. These small insect eating birds are valuable partners in controlling pests in our backyards. Building an effective habitat requires attracting a diverse range of insect species to provide food.

Finding several Painted Pine Moth Orgyia australis caterpillars on site is a good excellent start.

 

 

lydia-lichen-moth-asura-lydia-sbh-close-24-sept-2016

Lydia Lichen Moth Astura lydia

We inspected the Imperial Hairstreak Jalmenus evagoras butterfly caterpillars on Sickle Leaved Wattle Acacia falcata. I explained that the caterpillars are protected by “Kropotkin” ants – Small Meat Ant Iridomyrmex sp.

We also found a Lydia Lichen Moth Asura lydia with its curious eyelash like antlers.

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sickle-leaved-wattle-acacia-falcata-seeds-24-sept-2016

Sickle Leaved Wattle Acacia falcata

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Other excellent signs of habitat building progress was finding seed on Sickle Leaved Wattle Acacia falcataNative Sarsaparilla Hardenbergia violacea and Kangaroo Grass Themeda triandra which will provide food for seed eating birds.

ochna-blitz-24-sept-2016

Ochna Blitz

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After inspecting the Small Bird Habitat progress we moved onto our Ochna Blitz. Mickey Mouse Plant Ochna serrulata is a deep rooted invasive garden plant with attractive red and green berries that are eaten by birds then spread into our bush habitat. The objective is to start breaking the weed cycle by collecting, bagging and dumping the seeds then poisoning the plant. Eradicating or at least reducing Ochna in the Reserve will take years but systematic clearing of smaller areas will progressively reduce the spread.

We look forward to partnering with Griffith Mates again in 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

https://megoutlook.org/2016/04/24/griffith-mates-lantana-busters/

Louis Cheng - 1 Sept 2015

Louis planting Creeping Beard Grass 

By: Michael Fox

Louis Cheng, a Griffith Uni Environmental Science student, joined Marshal and myself at Fox Gully Bushcare today to finish spreading the mulch and plant native grasses at the small bird habitat planting site.

Planting Creeping Beard Grass Oplismenus aemulus creates a cover of Living Mulch that will retain water, stop erosion, control weeds and create a micro-climate that keeps the soil cool allowing the development of a healthy soil ecosystem with fungi, bacteria, earthworms, curl-grubs and bush cockroaches all working together to renew the very foundation of our forest.

The site, planted just a month ago on National Tree Day, is already showing fresh growth with Native Sarsaparilla Hardenbergia violacea, Star Goodenia Goodenia rotundifolia, Ivy-leaf Violet Viola banksii and new Acacias all producing fresh shoots and in some cases flowering. The natural regeneration of the site is also increasing with Tape Vine Stephania japonica spreading and the Tallowwoods Eucalyptus microcorys in full flower overhead.

Spring growth - 1 Sept 2015The local fauna is also moving back into the site with Purplewinged Mantid Tenodera australasiae exploring the bushes, Australian Magpies Gymnorhna tibicen feeding on insects in the mulch and a new Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae nest hollow being excavated in a termite nest.  Fauna - 1 Sept 2015