How to establish native plants on a construction site

12 months after treatment

Native plants typically thrive in Australia’s challenging soils and harsh climatic conditions – making them crucial to the success of many of the large projects EnviroStraw undertakes. Surviving droughts and growing in inhospitable soils, they help in our mission to deliver great outcomes, save clients’ money and restore the land to its original glory – here are some of the things we do to ensure successful native plant establishment, every time. 

  • Carefully select the cover crop species
    This ensures they can grow in the climate and soil found on site. If the soil is sodic, for example, we select grass species that can tolerate the sodicity to minimise the use of soil ameliorants – this provides significant savings to the project owners.
  • Test seed quality and germination
    Native vegetation tends to require less maintenance, with hardy plants used to surviving the challenges of the Australian climate. With this in mind, both the quality of the seed and germination testing is hugely important, as native seeds can be difficult to germinate so it’s crucial to sow the correct volume of seed. We also get an ecology report that ensures we sow seeds endemic to the site. 
  • Check the soil
    Before construction begins we test the soil so we can understand what then happens to it as the project progresses. This means we can condition the soil to the optimal point where plants are encouraged to germinate and grow – ameliorating it to restore it to the condition it was in prior to construction.
  • Prepare the seedbed
    Smooth and compacted batters can result in the Hydromulch being sprayed, only for the water to run straight off. It’s important we slow water-flow to a point where it can penetrate into the soil and plants can establish, and several methods can be used – horizontal ripping, pin wheeling or track rolling, Carbon soils with low carbon don’t hold water and lack structure, meaning they easily erode. Biostimulants, however, assist in the establishment of microbes, providing an immediate food source for them.
  • Correctly apply the Hydromulch layer
    Native seeds need to be in the dirt, so we encourage applicators to do a double pass – placing all the native seeds and 50% of the cover-crop species in pass one, and the remaining cover crop grasses in the second pass.
  • Use the correct specification of hydromulch and binders
    So often we see specifications that simply will not achieve the desired outcome. We need to ensure we protect the grass seeds and cover the ground sufficiently to minimise erosion, using environmentally friendly polymers as a binder. Consideration needs to be given to watering and topsoil, as well as slope angle and lengths in order to ensure erosion is managed.
  • Monitor everything
    This is a critical step – everything from the subsoil amelioration process to the Hydromulch application process should be closely monitored to avoid failed revegetation projects.

Overall, EnviroStraw is committed to delivering efficient and compliant native plant solutions that provide significant cost savings to clients across the mining, construction and development industries. With a full product range that’s designed to be native plant friendly, our understanding of plant science means we always select the correct products and approach for each project. Our range of Hydromulch products is manufactured to the highest standards, including a diverse range of fibers and a purpose-designed suite of microbes – ensuring we kick-start a successful process from day one.

Eight great reasons why your site needs BioGrowth

As the most technologically advanced hydraulic revegetation system currently available in Australia, and possibly the world, EnviroStraw’s BioGrowth Revegetation Program (BRP) has been successfully used on complex projects across the country. Easy to implement and proven to work, our tried and tested program could be just what you need for a successful project outcome – here are eight great reasons why… 

  • Lower cost
    BRP is easy to implement and reduces overall project costs by using nature’s components and systems to develop the optimum rhizosphere for plant growth. By looking at the soil to rebuild microbial activity, and using our advanced Enviromatrix ECM Biotic Growth Media (which has everything needed to create functionally sustainable soils in each bale), it doesn’t require the traditional volume-based application of soil ameliorates, and offers superior performance when compared to typical compost/topsoil, lime and gypsum installations. Application rates are designed to produce optimal microbial and mycorrhizae counts and increase essential nutrients, along with the ideal carbon components to re-establish the natural biology of disturbed soil on construction sites and carbon components. This approach increases on site efficiencies – saving significant amounts of time, money, fuel and resources that application of topsoil, compost and other soil amelioration placement jobs typically require.
  • Sustainable
    BRP sustainably revives depleted and damaged soils and establishes vegetation faster, and with less water, than standard approaches. When a suitable subsoil is available, replacement of topsoil and/or addition of compost as a soil conditioner is not generally required. Soil loss due to disturbance and development has a major impact on biodiversity worldwide – threatening biological function and wildlife habitat – and the practice of moving topsoil from point A to restore point B simply creates a bigger problem. Whilst compost and its application can be considered sustainable, great care needs to be taken in its production (rather than development) to remove disease and replace with high rates of soluble nutrient. Finally, water-soluble fertiliser is not part of BRP – protecting our delicate waterways and environment from nutrient leaching.
  • Water-saving
    Non-watering BRP options are available, and provide up to 12 months of functional longevity in the hydromulch layer – protecting seeds and the soil surface. Simply spray the Enviromatrix Biotic Growth media with our long term soil mulch binder, and wait for natural rain to establish the vegetation. This process provides significant cost savings to any project – thanks to increased mix rates of the EnviroMatrix per tank of hydromulch equipment, coverage areas are increased – providing savings of up to 42000 litres per hectare.
  • Native plant-ready
    As we rebuild the soil in a more natural way, with EnviroMatrix including biostimulates and zero soluble fertiliser, native plants typically establish in under six months if climatic conditions are favorable.

  • Australian-made
    EnviroStraw products are manufactured in rural Australia using Australian renewable resources – supporting Aussie farmers and country Australia.
  • Independently tested
    To ensure the program and products meet world standards and bring desired outcomes to projects they’re used on, they’re subject to rigorous independent testing.
  • Wide range of products
    Our range includes Hydromulch, Bonded Fibre Matrix BFM, Biotic Growth Amendments, Soil Stabilising Polymers and Purpose-designed Soil Amendments.
  • Financial advantage
    BRP and all associated products deliver a financial advantage over any other comparable program currently available in Australia.