Bracken Fern on pastures - what to do?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Shell, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    i'm not into running animals on land, but i think if you approach this
    gradually as you build up experience in running grazing animals
    you can recondition a paddock by having the animals trampling
    and breaking up the bracken, but also because their poops become
    fertilizer for the next generation of plants that will help the taller
    growth outcompete the bracken, in time.

    this is a summary, of course...

    smother what you can with organic matter, reseed taller plants
    to shade, encourage diversity and then graze it appropriately.

    sound feasible for not too much expense? perhaps. conditions
    can vary so much... what may work in one area may not work in
    another, etc.
     
  2. Jason_H

    Jason_H New Member

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    I had a look over the prospective property yesterday, 50 acres of thick bracken requiring treatment. This will be a decent undertaking whichever way it is approached.
     
  3. antonius

    antonius Member

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    I see pigs have been suggested , but if your soils are fragile and the aim is to restore it and the plants to a more older previous condition-- would nt a native or local grazing animal fit into it a bit better--wallabies--or maybe your neighbours dont like them?--i dont know how high the little buggers can jump and what kind of containment fencing is needed but i have had a little experience of pigs ---and they do like to escape---only electric discourages it --pigs are good but i think better on wetter soils and more varied vegetation --that can handle their heavier ground use from their rooting and sharper feet -- less tilling and soil damage---and you might want to save the endangered little ground dwellers from being gobbled up up---dont know from experience but i think the wallies are strict vegans
     
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  4. Jason_H

    Jason_H New Member

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    I did think about pigs too, but would need a fair few for 50 acres of bracken, and then what to do with the pigs? We dont really want them on our permanent farm so would need to try and sell them. Maybe it would be possible to borrow/lease pigs. The other concern with pigs is that the bracken is located on land with a slope of 1:10 to 1:20 in varying areas, so I am worried about the erosion that industrious pigs and rainfall might generate. Local wildlife like roos and wallabies tend to prefer different food, and then there is the issue of trying to contain them.

    All local farmers have suggested a combination of glyphosate/metsulfuron-methyl/pulse over a couple of applications to kill the infestation. Obviously an expensive exercise let alone the environmental factors, and not our preference.

    Considering all of the factors its looking like this block of land is not the one for us.
     
  5. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Jason, I suppose you could always eat the young ferns (but not too much): https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2011/06/the-bracken-fern-a-natural-born-killer/241271/
    This article gives some idea of what you're dealing with ... rhizomous roots and spore casting are the two main avenues of propagation. In the "Control" section, both cultivation and slashing (probably in combination with plantings of pasture crops) will do the trick in a couple of years: http://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au/Weeds/Details/235
    Do you have access to heavy cultivation equipment?
     
  6. Mirrabooka

    Mirrabooka Junior Member

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    I'm interested to clarify if bracken is allopathic for trees, as grass is?
     

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