Live Green

Resource Newsletter - SPRING 2019

Issue link: http://publications.hume.vic.gov.au/i/1173864

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RE-SOURCE I SPRING 2019 3 Better horse paddock design Have horses left your property overgrazed with poor quality or compacted soil? If so, then it may be worth looking at the design of your paddocks. One method that some landholders have used to improve land management is the Equicentral System. Properties using the Equicentral System divide their properties into multiple grazing paddocks, while water, shelter, bedding and supplementary feed are provided in a separate, but connected paved yard. This paddock design means horses only spend time in grazing paddocks when actively feeding, with the rest of the day spent resting and sheltering in the paved yard. As the horses spend less time in the grazing paddocks, the grass has more time to recover, resulting in better soil structure, more grass cover and less opportunities for weeds to take hold. For more information on managing horses on your property visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/ livestock/horses A prickly pear situation Cacti can be highly invasive plants. Some species have found their way into the natural environment by accident, others have been disposed of carelessly through the dumping of garden waste. The term prickly pear is used to describe several related species of Opuntia cactus, with the most common being Opuntia stricta or the erect prickly pear. Prickly pears are challenging to manage due to their sharp spines, their ability to easily establish from plant parts or seed, and a tendency to infest hard-to-access areas, such as along escarpments. Local spreading of the plant occurs when plant parts or fruit drop to the ground and take root. Long distance spread occurs via birds, foxes and other animals dispersing seeds, as well as human movement of plant parts through planting or illegal dumping of garden waste. Prickly pears are best controlled through integrated management using a mix of biological control, stem injection and hand removal. To find out more about this prickly situation visit www.agric.wa.gov.au and search for the control manual 'Managing Opuntioid Cacti in Australia'. Spring into identifying plants Now that spring is here, it is a great time to identify what plants are on your property. Many native plants and introduced weeds start to flower in spring, making them easier to identify. So why not take a walk around your property to map out what plants are growing where? Did you know? Council offers a service whereby landholders can take a photo of a plant, email it to us and have it identified by a Council officer. Photos should be accompanied by: ■ your name and contact details ■ the location of the plant ■ a brief description of the plant's key features. If you would like help identifying plants on your property contact Council's Sustainable Environment Department on 9205 2200 or email namethatplant@hume.vic.gov.au Weed: Blanket Weed Native: Berry Saltbush Equicentral System paddock designs. Images: www.equiculture.net

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