View Full Version : tagasaste - tagasaste growing requirements
22-01-2004, 02:17 PM
Who can help with advice on growing tagasaste?
When I did my PDC several years ago, it was a favourite topic of discussion for everything from chook fodder to fire retardation. But now, with the passage of time I can't remember the details. I have looked carefully through my PDC notes, but cannot find much. (There is a moral to this tale, dear friends, which is you would be advised to do your design course AFTER you acquire the land!!)
If my memory serves me properly, tagasaste is useful in cool temperate areas because it is reasonably wind and frost tolerant, it likes well drained soil, and hates having wet feet. Can someone tell me if it goes OK on rich volcanic soil, and whether it will tolerate a moderate amount of salt wind.
These questions relate back to Chook Nut's info on "chop and drop" on another post, and I seem to recall that tagasaste is a good candidate for this method. ???
22-01-2004, 02:21 PM
Sorry it was Muttabuttasaurus who mentioned "chop and drop", not Chook Nut :D
22-01-2004, 06:30 PM
Tag will love it down Lady Bay way as long as you keep its feet out of the wet. The coastal sands will accomodate it as well. Grows like stink!!
22-01-2004, 09:23 PM
After the good rains we've had out west, I'm about to plant some tagasaste seedlings this weekend - I have sandy soil over clay. I'm hoping to improve the drought tolerance of my place with tagasaste and salt bush. I hope it helps because part of my plan is to encourage others there to plant more trees by showing them results.
23-01-2004, 02:43 PM
I can say from experience that i have seen tagasaste grow in a wet climate.... we had some growing at our colledge that received a lot of water and that was in sub-tropics.... so not sure where that info comes from that it doesnt like wet feet.
I will say though that there are other alternatives worth consideration. I have at least a dozen good sized Leucaena with many more young ones that have self sown in the front of my property that has been used to establish some rainforest species.(was going to transplant the young ones into pots this arvo when its a bit cooler) This plant will crop close to 4 times in one season which bees love!! with my chooks making a bee-line to them b4 any other plant when i let them free range to collect the seeds that fall to the ground when rdy.
The other consideration is Pidgeon Pea. Both these plants are high in yield and protein, fixing nitrogen, establishing other trees and Leucaenas' roots can smash through rocks! Plus work well in the 'chop and drop' as the are fantastic in establishing alley cropping and are drought proof. Wild life like 'water dragons' have made themselves there home in this are where its been chopped and dropped as well.(Something that freaked out my sister when we were harvesting some seeds :D she no longer goes into that area!)
Overall we used pidgeon pea above tagaste at colledge as yields and growth and use in making compost seemed to exceed that of tagaste.... .just an observation.... but then that is my climate as well and not sure how these plants go in southern areas. We do get occassional frost here and the Leucaena pulled up fine.
That's all from me.... i think this is a good follow up topic on experimenting all 3 of these plants on you properties guys and then letting us know the results!
23-01-2004, 03:55 PM
The wet feet problem is endemic to heavier soils/indifferent drainage/seasonal saturation and the lower topographic reliefs - especially in colder climates that have winter dominant rainfall. Interesting that you are going for tag in the sub tropics - I always thought that it would do well there and was surprised no one gave it a go.
I've got one in my back yard (of about 20 interplanted between fruit/nuts along the boundary fences) that is now 4m in 18months - and has forest form - quite unusual. It does get a bit a seep from the neighbour's garden over the back fence.
25-01-2004, 09:13 PM
Regarding Chook Nut's comments, have you seen or heard of leucaena and/or pigeon pea doing well in our southern latitudes?
29-01-2004, 09:38 PM
No I haven't heard of Leucaena been grown down here - though they are worth trying - the pigeon pea I grew years ago as a summer grown annual (like normal beans) - yields were pretty poor though - but then again I didn't put in a big amount of effort - too busy looking after others places!!. Haven't had any experience with Leucaena apart from being threatened with admonishment by one of Australia's most popular biologists/weedpersons if I even thought about growing it when I was in QLD a couple of years ago. That's another story!! By all means try it - although the Western District is probably not the best place to gain success with its cool temperate climate and low day degrees. Others on this list would probably just cut to the chase and suggest that it would be a complete waste of time and seed - just grow tag as you know it will do well down there.
The biologist I think you're talking about isn't a big fan of tagasaste either!
02-02-2004, 03:19 PM
Yeah like a lot of people with good intentions - doesn't have his own production system - which by feedback supports the system that is really the problem and greatest contributor to the weed issue: agriculture. Many of his claims are quite valid however - although I have yet seen in my travels - and I traverse the countryside more than many - tagasaste get to the point where it threatens or displaces indigenous systems -in fact as with many weeds, it just fills a void. Nature is not picky - it is as David Holmgren puts it - a equal opportunity employer.
Votes Green possibly!!
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