Pepping up the pastures at Beulah

 

While Sydney Living Museums' work at Beulah is concentrated on the property's heritage and local environment, Beulah also contains 30 hectares of pasture that need maintenance.

When we took on the property in 2010, the pastures had been neglected for many years and were overrun with blackberry and fire weed. The blackberry was treated through spraying and the fireweed has been largely killed off by the long stretches of high temperatures over the last few summers.

One of our neighbours agists her cattle on Beulah, which has helped to keep the grass and weeds down, but the pastures are looking tired and in need of rejuvenation.

Recently we had soil analysis done at Beulah and the soil was found to be acidic. This increases the soil's aluminium content, which is toxic to many pasture grasses.

We were advised to apply nutrients such as urea and diammonium phosphate, which will balance the soil's pH and improve the pasture significantly without affecting the surrounding Biobank bush conservation areas.

We have also been informed that the pasture mix should be improved by adding a leguminous component (for nitrogen-fixing in the soil), a cereal cover crop, and a perennial component such as Perennial Ryegrass.

We will apply the nutrients in autumn, prior to sowing, which we hope will then provide us with good winter cover.

About the Author

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Richard Taylor
Former Project Manager
Heritage Team
Richard Taylor was a project manager in the heritage team at Sydney Living Museums.

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