@ Fiona Walsh (Posted January 19, 2017 at 6:52 pm): …

Comment on Caterpillars as big as a mountain are starving by Alex Nelson.

@ Fiona Walsh (Posted January 19, 2017 at 6:52 pm): Great advice, Fiona. I’ll check to see whether the portion of fenceline abutting the laneway where I live can be registered with the Town Council as a managed verge (after all, the old laneways are gazetted roadways).
Given the results of the weed control at my place, there’s good scope for the laneways to be quickly restored and easily managed wildlife corridors within the old urban areas of town, with potential to extend further afield over time.

Alex Nelson Also Commented

Caterpillars as big as a mountain are starving
@ Myf (Posted January 18, 2017 at 6:41 am): There’s no need for these plant species to be sold at nurseries as, despite the encroachment of buffel and other exotic grass species, they remain ubiquitous in the local environment.
For example, I live a short distance away from Geoff Mier’s Garden Solutions nursery which specialises in the propagation and sale of many local native plant species which otherwise are difficult to obtain; however, species such as tarvine and munyeroo (pig face – Portulaca oleraceae) are readily encountered on the footpaths and laneways within urban areas.
Over several years I’ve taken advantage of conditions such as we’re experiencing now to uproot buffel grass, stinking lovegrass, caltrop prickles, thistles, wild turnip, soursob and other introduced weed species along the few metres of the backyard fence in the laneway at the rear of the property where I reside (occasionally I go a bit further).
All native plant species (except prickles) are left alone to fend for themselves.
The result now is that along the entire length of the public laneway where each side is dominated by buffel grass and other weeds, there’s about a 10 metre stretch adjacent to my home which currently features bluebells (Wahlenbergia species) and variable daisies (Brachycome ciliaris) in full bloom, plus tarvine and munyeroo (upon which both species of caterpillars have been feeding); also a compact form of ruby saltbush (Einadia nutans subspecies eremaea) which has spread from plants I’ve cultivated in my garden, and two native grass species (Brachiaria and Enneapogon) which produce easily accessible bird-attracting seeds. Occasionally I glimpse large skinks weaving their way through the foliage.
These plants are able to flourish in this location despite being slashed or sprayed by council workers – all that is necessary on my part is to remain vigilant for the presence of new weeds germinating in this spot, which only requires a few minutes’ attention every so often.
Once the initial weed control is achieved, the follow-up maintenance is not difficult, and the rapid recovery of native vegetation and response of wildlife is most gratifying, even in the most unlikely and limited of circumstances.


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