Watershed Landcare | Catchment Corner

As part of the 'Digging Deeper into Watershed Soils' project local landholders had the opportunity to explore soil health issues within our region at a series of workshops held last week.

Watershed Landcare invited David Hardwick, Agricultural Ecologist and soil guru, to provide his expertise on some common erosion issues. The workshops focused on improving soil health, the aspects which influence it, and adapting management decisions as a result of understanding the landscape.

One of the properties visited was Karrabool Olives where the owners, David Sargeant and Judy Rogers, wanted to repair erosion and degraded soil in their olive grove.

David's suggestions included a number of measures to slow the flow of water at the top of the hill. As a long-term management strategy to improve water infiltration and fertility and reduce compaction, David recommended widening the inter-row vegetation to reduce the bare area under the trees and increasing the diversity, particularly with deeper rooted species as olives have shallow roots. 

The tactics suggested by David are easy and relatively low cost options that David and Judy can implement before the problem got much more serious. Addressing issues early, or even preventing them when possible, results in manageable solutions. Monitoring of your land is the best way to stay on top off changes in your landscape to mange an issue or erosion site. This project is supported by Watershed Landcare through funding from Landcare Australia and the Jaramas Foundation.

Repair and prevention: David Hardwick in a soil pit dug to look at the soil structure in the olive grove indicated a layer of compacted soil.

Repair and prevention: David Hardwick in a soil pit dug to look at the soil structure in the olive grove indicated a layer of compacted soil.