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Herbal Ley
Yellow flowers, Kaikoura Range
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Herbal Ley
What is a herbal ley?

Herbal Leys are a living grass ground cover, which allow for bio-diversity in preference to the mono-cultural practice of sowing land with only one or two types of grass. Herbal leys help control and suppress weeds, retain moisture, prevent erosion and attract beneficial insects and bees. They act as nutrient fixers and recyclers, and can include bulbs like chicory which can be harvested for additional income. Herbal leys are also aesthetically pleasing.

There are different mixtures of grass species and the most suitable one for you is dependent on your soil type and climate. The different grass characteristics are also a consideration, and you can create your own ley for different purposes, eg orcharding or animal farm management. Good pasture growth and stock requirements must be balanced to achieve the best results, eg weed control and milk production.

For further information, contact David Musgrave, at Waihi Bush, Woodbury, Geraldine. Tel: 03 692-2842. Fax 03 692-2849.

Further Reading:

  • Hynes, Erin - Rodale’s Successful Organic Gardening: Improving the Soil, (Central/ 635.0489 HYN). Discusses soil structure, organic matter, fertilizers, soil problems, and cultivation, and offers advice on soil care for vegetables, herbs, trees, an lawns. Rodale Press • 160 pages • size (286 x 210) ISBN: 0875966179. NZ Recommended Retail Price: $122.48. This book is now out of print but Amazon.com offers a 2nd hand bookshop searching service.
  • Pasture Renovation Manual / Ag Research (Central/633.2 PAS)
  • Biodynamics / NZ Biodynamics Association
  • Growing Today Magazine
  • Soil and Health Magazine




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