Pioneer EnviroblanketĀ®

27 Brenchley Road, Lyttelton Port Hills Red Zone
Area : 1020 m2
Date : May 2017

Backstory

The purpose of this trial was to develop a methodology that would facilitate erosion control and cover crop establishment, whilst at the same time provide a seedbed for the regeneration of native species.

We wanted to explore an alternative growing medium to topsoil, using instead a fertile medium with inherent binding properties.

We trialed a 50mm Engineered Compost Blend (Enviroblanket®) over a clay base, applied up to a 1:1 gradient.

The Challenge

This site experienced periods of inundation and near drought in the ten-month establishment period. The Eviroblanket® absorbs and holds moisture for rapid plant establishment.

The Enviroblanket® is typically applied at 50mm to 100mm thick. They are installed by blowing the product pneumatically onto slopes with gradients up to 2: Slopes 1:1 with additional support from the Envirosock® and Enviroberm®.

Compost blends used for erosion control and seed germination purposes have larger particle sizes to allow rainfall to be absorbed and rapidly filter sheet flow. The Enviroblanket® makes excellent ground surface contact that prevents the soil from rilling underneath.

The Solution

Native seeds were sourced in the Port Hills Ecological District in 2017. Clover establishes quickly in spring, tolerates clay and drought, has a fresh, lush appearance and generally grows 15-25cm in height making it an ideal weed suppressant.

Clover's root system is tenacious, binding and has no difficulty penetrating clay. Consistent and well spaced germination of three species, mainly Hebe, Coprosma and Ribbonwood. The high stocking rates of Ribbonwood are probably due to self seeding from the parent tree.

 

Outcome

Nearly one year on the results on the ground spoke for themselves. Canopy cover in standard re-vegetation growing in prime conditions at 1.5m spacings will take three years. This trial has achieved canopy cover in ten months.

The Enviroblanket®, when applied is free of weeds and pathogens and 11 months on was relatively weed free. We have had a good strike rate with all species introduced into the Enviroblanket®, with Coprosma and Hebe being the most successful.