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  • Writer's pictureTyler Ford

What a Difference a Year Makes!

I have recently put up a number of posts on my of street verge restoration & what it is teaching me:


- suburban trap door spiders (!)

- what native plant treasures can be found under your weeds

- the distance seed can be transported by ants

- the surprising amounts of soil, (made from leaf litter by invertebrates)


Today, whilst perusing photos I came across this one from late October last year, (when the restoration was only 4 1/2 months old); that’s the first photo.


Note how few plants in total there are, how much bare ground there is.


A slow start indeed…


If you zoom in you’ll see the dried out remnants of Rye Grass annual weeds that I’ve “jiggered” out, (to be composted by the amazing populations of invertebrates attracted to the food, shelter & habitat provided by the plants).


So to the title of the post, “What a Difference a Year Makes”.


Compare the change in growth with the second photo, the beginning of this October, some 11 months later.


A profusion of wall to wall green with at least 10 native species; 7 broadleaf groundcovers & 3 grasses, (an interesting brew of C3 & C4’s).


Oooh; I nearly forgot, a further profusion of soil crust/moss & lichen that is steadily & stealthily spreading, (which I’m looking to harness as a major factor in inhibiting next years weeds & vastly reducing my maintenance inputs).


Let’s not forget; this site is not irrigated...for interest, Adelaide is a 500 mm rainfall, (20 inches).


It was just raked & hand seeded; there was no top soil (see third photo; the beginnings in mid June 2021), just a very well sprayed & compacted dolomite.


No soil amendments, fertiliser or added mulches; what you’re seeing is just the work of the plants & the staggering number & variety of invertebrates.


What can be achieved in less than a year, eh?


The coverage is spectacular; no soil erosion here folks!


The soil critter count is spectacular; their composting ability is of “another league”.


The amount of water harvested, held (& then transpired) has me thinking of the tools to be used to measure the difference in temperatures, moisture & soil compaction, (compared to my control on the other side of the street…see the fourth photo), come the South Australian summer.


I look at this site on a daily basis; it teaches me so much; calms me if I’ve had “one of those days”, further inspires me on my good days.


What do you reckon?




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