Traditional methods for the provision of nutrients.
Nutrients are traditionally supplied by applications of artificial fertilisers for at least the first two years. This is costly – and becoming even more so.
The 'Auria' methods for the provision of nutrients.
At 'Auria', three ways have been devised to provide nutrients in forestry.
1. By slashing the weeds prior to them setting seed - and ploughing them in as part of the ground preparation, vital organic matter is added to the soil. This stimulates fungal and micro-bacterial activity within the soil, which in turn helps to free up nutrients within particles of rocks. There is growing recognition of the symbiotic relationships that exist between plants, microbes and fungi and tha fact that many herbicides also kill microbes and fungi - all the more reasons to avoid their use.
2. Different species of trees are incorporated within the plantings - to capitalise upon the symbiotic relationships that exist between them. Knowing the right ‘companion plants’ is a critical part of the exercise, and this is a major part of the research being undertaken at ‘Auria’. Eucalypts, acacias and melaleucas are major players – it is important that they are also matched to soil types. It is easy to take advantage of ‘companion planting’ while also ensuring economical harvesting of the different species over different time-frames.
3. Nutrients that are predominantly within the tops soil, thus the creation of raised beds accumulates not just the top soil - but the nutrients within it. On shallow soils, the depth from which the soil is accumulated is critical as one can bring up 'sour' soil. Implements used for mounding can be adjusted to accumulate soil from different depths and widths.