Are you interested in the native animals and plants on your property or in your garden and want to improve their natural surroundings ?
Here are some ways to help nature on your property
- Keeping and protecting existing native vegetation
- Allowing leaf litter, fallen logs and branches to accumulate in habitat areas.
- Fencing areas near native bush to allow native seedlings to grow and to manage. stock access.
- Restricting livestock access to stream banks.
- Fencing natural wetlands to prevent stock access in the wetter months.
- Leaving river snags in place for fish habitat.
- Protecting dead hollow bearing trees.
- Planting local native trees, shrubs and grasses to connect areas of native vegetation.
- Improving dams by planting natural vegetation and limiting stock access.
- Keeping pets under control and don’t allow them to chase wildlife or to roam at night.
- Controlling environmental weeds, rabbits and foxes.
- Remove barbed wire from fences.
On a small or town block you may like to try
- Planting local native trees, shrubs, ground covers and grasses in the garden.
- Don’t be too tidy and allowing some leaf litter ,and branches to remain in parts of the garden.
- Building a fish or frog pond and including some native grasses and water plants.
- Adding some water bowls and birdbaths and keeping them clean and filled with fresh water daily.
- Keeping pets under control and not allowing them to chase wildlife or to roam at night.
- Choosing garden plants carefully and avoiding ones that may become weeds.
- Erecting some nest boxes for local birds, animals and bats.
- Using plenty of mulch on the gardens to encourage worms and small insects that birds feed on.
- Providing natural food plants for birds and animals and avoid hand feeding them.
- Avoid using chemicals to help protect butterflies lizards and frogs.
- Use rocks in your garden to provide shelter and a sunny spot for lizards.
Growing plants from native seed
Many plants are easily grown from seed and it is a cheap way to get lots of plants. You will need some spare time to sow and then to keep the seedlings watered and to prick them out into pots but it is a rewarding activity to do.
You may have a large property and be able to collect your own seed or otherwise you may choose to buy some. Permits are required if you want to collect seed on roadsides and in forests, parks and reserves.
Remember if you expect to go into a plant nursery and buy 200 eucalypts or wattles that are grown from locally collected seed that you may not get what you want. You need to plan ahead, the seed needs to be collected, cleaned and purchased by nurseries. The plants then need to be grown to a size that is ready to be planted out.
Two sites to obtain seed and which provide useful additional information are:
Seeding Victoria http://www.seedbank.com.au/
Victorian Native Seed http://www.victoriannativeseed.com.au/
Here are some useful guides