Priority land management tasks for the holidays
22 December 2022
By Susan Ivory, Team Leader Land and Pests
If you are spending time around your property this holiday season, it may be the perfect time to reconnect with your land and prioritise a few important seasonal tasks that will set you up for the year ahead.
Here are our top three things to try and tend to over the Christmas and New Year break.
- Plan your rabbit control – Rabbits have been prolific across the Hills and Fleurieu region this season, with ample green feed and cooler weather, their numbers have significantly increased. Rabbits remain one of Australia’s worst pest animals, overgrazing pasture and crops, preventing the regeneration of native vegetation and impacting our vulnerable ecosystems. Through February and March next year, we are running a series of pindone bait and K5 calicivirus distribution days covering the whole region. Bookings will be available through our website soon. Coordinating a control program with your neighbours and ensuring you undertake a free-feed program prior to baiting are the keys to success. Destroying burrows now is also a great idea. Break up all entrances and as much of the burrow as possible. Rabbits also love to shelter from predators and hot weather under rubbish and garden waste piles so attend to these if you can too.
- Inspect your dam - This is a great time to inspect your dam and plan for any maintenance later in the summer as water levels drop. This can significantly reduce the risk of your dam overfilling and potentially collapsing. Routine inspection also enables the identification of minor defects which can be repaired cost effectively before major damage occurs, prolongs the life of the dam and protects it against deterioration.
- Keep an eye on encroaching or escaping weeds – The wet spring and warmer weather is providing ideal conditions for a number of weed species to set seed and take off. This is a perfect time to control weeds such as desert ash, gazania and olives before they spread to drains, roads, bushland or coastal dune areas. They are setting seed prolifically this summer and can be controlled by hand-pulling, cutting and swabbing, or spraying.
Whether you live on a large property or smaller block in a township, controlling these pest plants has enormous benefits for the environment. Garden escapees remain one of the biggest threats to remnant vegetation and biodiversity, and can have serious impacts on agriculture.