Strawberry Stand Bank

October 23, 2019

Culling the ox-tongues on Strawberry Bank - and mulching the first natives
Oxtongues are now dense in the Strawberry Stand Bank kikuyu margin, as along much of the previously sprayed Eskdale Forest Upper Margin North.

Growing as close as a few centimetres apart and up to about 1m H, their single stems are leafless to about 30cm H, providing ideal nursery conditions for light-loving native plants. Oxtongues were culled today to make spaces for natives, initially for quick-growing herbs such as Haloragis erecta, Dark nightshade and Esler's weed, and if necessary for more diverse and less aggressive exotic herbs which will be easy to remove when the natives arrive.

The ox-tongues are also being culled before they flower, to use as mulch while they are still leafy, as once they they flower the leaves shrivel.

As mulch, they help retain moisture in the ground (which is already very dry on the surface) , and create humus to support other seedlings.

During culling we found two Haloragis erecta (shrubby toatoa) seedlings and a Pteris tremula sporeling. Both were mulched heavily with cut ox-tongues to keep weeds from arising next to them and to feed them.

Posted by kaipatiki_naturewatch kaipatiki_naturewatch, October 23, 2019 10:11

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