View Full Version : Organic control of Paterson's curse? - Don't want to use toxics.
There is some property near Perth that needs to get rid of a large area (5 acres) of Paterson's curse. What are some methods of control that work well and without too many years of imput if possible.
Goats are good I guess... they aren't sure what they want to do with the land yet, but know they don't want this stuff growing everywhere.
Thanks. I'll let em know.
13-10-2003, 12:44 PM
I watched a segment on TV from a goat breeder that 'Boer' goats(sp) are good to use as they prefer to eat weeds. Could always check that in relation to that kind of weed with a breeder!
Just a thought
14-10-2003, 08:02 AM
Get a soil test! Go to http://www.apal.com.au - for a test kit - any other remedies ie. goats etc are peripheral to the real causes.
16-10-2003, 12:34 PM
I did a bit more reading on the net and i see another common name that i am familiar with for this weed is called 'Salvation Jane'. Coming from Sth Australia originally its a right old pest there and very difficult to get rid of. Grazing it out may be difficult if its going to effect an animals liver function.(so not sure how well goats will go on it)
What sort of issues with soil would make you suggest to look at getting the soil tested? (exscuse my ignorance if the answer is blatently obvious)
I have driven through a lot of country in Sth Aust and its incredibly rampant and widespread. If your neighbours have it how could you prevent it from getting into your property?
Thanks in advance
17-10-2003, 03:48 AM
My (and many other's including David Holmgren) rationale for getting the independant Albrecht-style soil testing done is that you'll always be guessing if you don't - systemic chemical/nutrient (effecting physics aka soil structure) imbalances are the root causes of weed infestations (if you'll excuse the pun).
Widespread "Patto" and "Capeweed" infestations like we have around our way are clear signals of soil nutrient imbalances in areas where appropriate soil fertility has not been addressed - NPK application only deals with plant feeding not soil feeding - obtaining/correcting an appropriate soil nutrient balance starts with addressing the base saturation %'s of Calcium (60-70% of Total Exchange Capacity/TEC), Magnesium (10-20% TEC), Sodium (1.5%), Hydrogen (12% TEC = pH of 6.3) and Potassium (4%). Get these cations into balance and then deal with your traces and Anions (Nitrogen, Sulphates, Phosphates). Sounds complicated perhaps - but this style of agronomy works very easily and is extremely effective.
With the "patto" and other infestations have you ever noticed how most of these weeds are confined to the paddocks and not the adjacent roadsides? Years of nutrient extraction by crops and livestock without replacement has tipped these soils over the edge and these "weeds" are slowly recovering the situation - in most cases too slowly and too convincingly for graziers to handle.
From a permaculture perspective the soil is a revered substance and just like our bodies should be protected and improved - if we want to get the most health out of the food etc. we procuce then you need to feed the soil appropriately - sure beats concentrated vitamin and mineral supplements. Dr. Albrecht's ethos was "healthy minerally balanced soils = healthy plants = healthy animals and people" - unfortunately the other contemporary soil methodologies aren't so altruistic in their approach!
17-10-2003, 10:53 AM
I covered little of the Albrecht method when i did my PDC. The answer you gave was exactly what i was after :)
In the short term i plan on just getting a Ph test kit to see what some of my soil is like and then get some proper testing done. One of the ladies in my class had her 30acre block tested and she found it very helpful.
17-10-2003, 10:37 PM
Glad to help when I'm in town!!
Remember pH testing only reveals hydrogen and not the TEC nor any nutrient imbalances. Soil texture and existing vegetation analysis and Emerson Test are useful field tests (in addition to pH) in creating base assumptions as to the TEC and nutrient status of soils - I would go easy though on applying amendments though based on this field analysis. You can really stuff things up in a big way otherwise.
Who did you do your PDC with? We just finished our first in Bendigo today and we've already got half of two more for next year booked which is great. More "PC evangelists" on the loose!!
20-10-2003, 12:45 PM
I have noticed that you come to Qld for some projects and would really like to be able to make myself available to see what you get up to! I have a fair amount of time on my hands as i only work 3 days a week.
I did my PDC through Grovelly TAFE and the teacher was Annette MacFarlane. She is well known and does a bit of writing for Organic Gardener magazine and is on ABC radio.
I keep in touch with a couple of my classmates that were inspired by the course. It's done as an elective for the Dip of Horticulture and she has named the subject Sustainable Horticulture. The course holds 20 ppl and has a waitlist on it which speaks of its growing popularity and the word of mouth that is getting out about it.
Congrats on the success of your course too.... its always encouraging to hear where Permaculture is expanding!
As for my soil... the previous owner dropped off some reports for when our house was built in underneath, and it had a couple of soil tests he had done. I only got it last night so will go through it with some eagerness soon.
21-10-2003, 01:38 PM
Yeah have been in QLD a few times for work - though I have not been back since last year when I did a stint in Maleny. I have been laying low purposely as we have a young family and I have been a work slut for a long time - once the kids get a bit older then I'll crank up the machine again. I've just turned 36 and have been designing and developing beyond fulltime for about 12 years so the family-enforced sabbatical is timely. I'm not advertising (apart from the web page) and am getting enough work with one old client to satisfy my last business plan which is great. When I crank up again you'll hear about it - and no doubt I'll be back in QLD again.
Soil Tests: what sort of tests were they? - sounds like engineering/geotech type. Let us know what they say anyway.
There was a TV segment only last night about horses dying by the dozen on the east coast after eating Paterson's Curse. Are goats more resistant for some reason or would they be just as much at risk?
Thanks for the advice, I'll let them know. Soil testing can help a lot with that knowing why weeds are there. I've not managed to visit the place yet, but they are keen to not use chemicals.
It sounds pretty toxic to most animals, except bees!
I'll let them know what their next step should be there.
19-11-2003, 11:58 AM
I think you would be best checking with a goat breeder with that Question Mont.
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