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Progress Update from Previous Frahns Farm Plantings

Have you ever thought to yourself: “I’ve been to previous Frahns Farm Planting Festivals…how are my plants faring?”

Well, thanks to Penny and Brad, we’re able to give you an update on the 2019, 2020 and 2021 plantings:

Thanks in part to two mild and slightly wetter than average summers, the revegetation areas from 2019, 2020 and 2021 are looking quite spectacular. If you helped to plant in these years, give yourself a gold star and, if you were thinking of coming out to help in June 2022, then we hope you are enthused by these great results and photos of thriving plants.

Figure 1. Seeding Chloris truncata Windmill Grass in the Seed Orchard. Photo: Brad Bianco
Figure 1. Seeding Chloris truncata Windmill Grass in the Seed Orchard. Photo: Brad Bianco

The 24 hectares planted over these three years as well as the 13,000 plants in the Seed Orchard put in last year are looking really good (Figure 1, above), with about 90% survival of tubestock and a good covering of native grasses (Figure 2, below). Most of the grasses seed in their first year, as have some chenopods like Berry and Ruby Saltbush (Atriplex semibaccata and Enchylaena tomentosa) and even shrubs such as the Native Scurf Pea (Cullen australasica).

Figure 2. Thriving native grasses well-established in the 2020 plantings. Photo: Brad Bianco
Figure 2. Thriving native grasses well-established in the 2020 plantings. Photo: Brad Bianco

The 2019 revegetation in particular is starting to develop the structure that we are aiming for – scattered trees of many species, groves of shrubs like acacias, sennas, melaleucas and hop-bush, with a diverse understorey of grasses, lilies, daisies, creepers and small forbs and herbs (Figure 3, below). And the direct seeding of grasses and small herbs in the 2020 and 2021 areas has meant that we have had to plant fewer of these species and allowed us to expand the area treated.

Figure 3 - Mallees and shrubs growing true to form in 2019 plantings
Figure 3. Mallees and shrubs growing true to form in the 2019 plantings. Photo: Brad Bianco

In 2022 we are aiming for a massive 20 hectares of revegetation, with over 40,000 tubestock and many kilograms of native grass and forb seeds for direct seeding. Most of this seed will come from our highly successful Seed Orchard just to the south of the 2020 plantings, which many of you saw at the 2021 planting days (Figure 4, below, shows the carful of bags of native seed harvested in 2021-22). We are expanding the Seed Orchard in June by planting additional grass and other species into the established Orchard as well as into new raised beds. This will enable us to collect more seed for direct seeding in the years to come and allow us to increase yet again the areas to be restored at Frahns Farm.

Figure 4 Brads Car
Figure 4. A successful first year for the Seed Orchard – all these bags of seed collected in 2021-22. Photo: Brad Bianco

So please come and be part of the solution and help us to achieve our 2022 aims as well as to enable the upscaling of our efforts into the future. It is in your hands literally.

Author: Penny Paton

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