Greening Australia’s Jack Mercer, shown here at Bush Heritage’s Chereninup Creek Reserve, gets off the tractor to refill the seed funnel on his direct seeding machine. Jack oversaw the collection of about 42 kg of seed (approx. 42 million seeds!) from about 50 species in the adjacent bushland. Three different species mixes were prepared for low, middle, and higher elevation areas on the 60 ha of cleared land. Most of the seed was sown into 280 km of rows, and some was used to produce 50 000 seedlings for planting. The seedlings were propagated by Bandicoot Nursery at Mt Barker.
The strategy of mixing seedling planting with direct seeding is designed to maximise the probability of success in this area of marginal rainfall and patchy soils. The direct seeding component is aimed at establishing high species diversity and high stem densities required to create better habitat value. Site preparation included rabbit and weed control.