In response to small landholders in the Parkerville area asking to learn more about regenerative land management, the RegenWA team hosted a free informative event on 10th June. Belinda Taylor, from Hoof Hearted Hoof Care, provided specialized insight into local soil types and health, weed identification and management, the importance of plant diversity, and options for pasture species.
With a goal towards sustainable and regenerative principles, attendees learnt about the importance of maintaining ground cover year-round. This helps to retain essential nutrients and water, maintain important microbial life within the soil and to prevent erosion of topsoil – a common occurrence when soils are kept bare.
Weeds, while frustrating, are actually a good indicator of soil health. They can point towards any existing issues or limitations, with certain species only establishing if the soil has characteristics that support their growth – for example, is waterlogged, disturbed, compacted, or acidic.
The establishment of beneficial and nutritious pasture species is another way that landholders can feed their stock while also reducing weeds and protecting the soil. Incorporating a diversity of plant species is the key to regenerative agricultural systems. This diversity increases soil microbe activity – the greater the diversity, the more positive interactions can occur in the soil, resulting in a stronger and healthier soil and microbiome.
The final essential element to supporting good soil health is reducing soil disturbance. Tilling or digging up the soil often, using pesticides and fertilizers often, the compaction of soil often caused by regular vehicle and animal traffic, in addition to a lack of ground cover and erosion, can severely impact the health and availability of those essential soil microbes.
Knowing your soil is an important first step to learning how to manage your property sustainability, and Belinda demonstrated how to conduct a simple soil pH test and spoke about how different soil types affect nutrition, leaching and plant access to nutrients.
The day wrapped up with a casual question session between Belinda Taylor and participants over a yummy morning tea and a cuppa. Thanks to local resident Steve for hosting the morning!
Watch our recent ‘Loam wasn’t built in a day” webinar for more information on soil health. For more information on regenerative land management check out our Resources page, or our Event listings for future sessions.
This event was supported by Perth NRM, RegenWA, Lotterywest and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s Soil Wise Program. Soil Wise is funded by the National Landcare Program Smart Farms Small Grants – an Australian Government initiative. It is supported by Healthy Estuaries WA – a State Government program.