A new approach to the tussocks

Another neighbour, Shayne, called by.  As we’re not carrying any stock at the moment, we had spoken about agisting some of his sheep at our place.

Shane’s not convinced by my plans for the serrated tussock.  He says that one mature tussock can send 200,000 seeds downwind.  He says that the current infestation at our place has only happened in the past couple of years, and that the current crop are just about to take over our place and the neighbourhood.  Bloody Tree Changers, I expect he’s thinking.

My ‘Plan A’ was for me to chip out the tussocks wherever they are sparse, and then to slash the denser areas just as they are starting to flower.  Then plug away at them next year.

Shane’s not convinced that will work, and suggests that well-timed ploughing is the strategy proven to work locally.  The concept is that we’ll plant some oats and permanently clear the pasture of tussocks.

In permaculture terms, ploughing is undesirable.  Turning over the soil will expose the soil biota to harsh summer sunlight, and there’s a chance we’ll lose topsoil if it gets windy.  On the other hand, this presents an opportunity to lime the soil, useful for our truffle trees.  And it will get rid of a large proportion of the tussocks.  So we’ll give it a go.

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