Super excited with our new project. Few weeks post burn and were already seeing lots of growth in the burn areas. You can imagine our disappointment though when we realised it was all baby wattle. Yes with the heat thousands of babies have germinated, which is to be expected. What was devastating to begin with has lead to research and it’s not quite as bad as we thought. And as a result Project Circles in The Forest has been born.
It has been said that 90% of the seed bed of wattle will germinate in a burn. And once you get rid of these, it should only be the odd one to appear from time to time. For those of you who aren’t familiar with wattle, it is an alien tree not indigenous to SA and sucks up all the water. Lots of our time is spent on clearing all sizes of these trees from ones which need to be chain sawed and others that can be pulled by hand.
We have decided to prep, design and plant the 25 burn circles. Prepping has begun which involves taking all of these babies out with a hoe!! The area will then be mulched heavily with grass to hopefully stop the light getting in and further germination of seed. We aim to surround the area with wood to stop run off and also position wood in the circles on the contours.
Now the fun part begins, what to do with these circles. We have debated this many times and although the favourite idea was berries who would love the acidic soil, the baboons however would have a field day and it would be soul destroying to get a yield and have it all eaten. So now it is indigenous flowers like Protea, Pincushion, Ikea’s and many more.
Many bulbs will be planted in the mix with a view to having something always flowering. Bulbs are on order with the first planting to begin at the end of May. This will give us enough time to prepare and design the circles. Watch this space.