Why no grass?

Our Banksia Park Puppies Soil

Have you seen photos of Banksia Park Puppies such as this and wondered why we don’t have much grass at Banksia Park Puppies over summer?

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Our post today is going to explain to you why we don’t have grass in summer and the benefits of this. We tell this to people who come for a tour at Banksia Park Puppies, but many of you probably see the photos and think how much nicer it would be if we had nice green grass in all months of the year! We do have grass in winter, but over summer it dies off easily. Here is why.

The Background

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When Matt’s grandfather started breeding dogs it was in the back of Hill End in Gippsland. For those who don’t know the area, it is sort of out the back of Warragul, and it is dairy country; here is a photo from Google Maps. You can see it has lush green grass, and it has rolling hillsides, and it has everything you need to make a perfect photo. You can just imagine dogs running up and down the hillside having the best time ever in the grass.

Unfortunately, Matt’s grandfather found that with great dairy soil, and lots of rain, makes… mud. And with mud comes diseases. He found it was so much harder to keep the dogs clean and to ensure that puppies were free from disease in the critical stages of their life.

So one of the huge benefits of being third generation dog breeders is that when Colin (Matt’s dad) decided to find a place to breed dogs professionally in Victoria, what did he look for? He looked for the OPPOSITE of these rolling grass mountains. He looked for a place that some would call ‘barren’ but he did it for a very specific reason.

The list of demands of the new property:

  • Sandy soil (not red dirt thick with nutrients)
  • Little rainfall
  • Some inclines (not all flat ground)
  • Not extremely high or low temperatures (in a row especially)

Matt and Colin looked all over Victoria (they discussed other parts of Australia but most states were found to be lacking; NSW has paralysis ticks, Queensland has too many high temperatures etc.). They then came upon this land in Stradbroke which had everything they were looking for. And what did the property look like? It was covered in bush and scrub, but it had the perfect soil and the perfect climate for breeding dogs.

Meeting the demands

Did this new property meet the demands?

Sandy soil

The Stradbroke property is about 20km from the ocean and has incredibly sandy soil. This means that when it rains – even if it pours – only an hour later there will barely be a puddle on the property. The sandy soil means that the rain simply drains away. This is great for the dogs, and it means they are never sitting in mud which is rich with nutrients and therefore also ripe for disease. The photo at the top is after lots and lots of rain. You can see that the soil looks different, but that it isn’t muddy or sticky for the dogs. Over winter the grass grows and it does get green for the dogs to play in and dig in, but in summer because of the soil, the grass is hard to grow so the dogs have fun playing in the sand instead!

Little rainfall

Stradbroke (or the closest town to it – Sale) has annual rainfall averages of 432.6mm. How does that compare to other places around Victoria? As a comparison Hill End has averages of 598mm, Warragul is 894mm, and Mornington has 614mm.

Some inclines (not all flat ground)

Why is this important? When it rains, the water goes through the sand and washes it down the incline. This naturally washes the soil. It helps to keep the pens fresh and clean. This is along with of course us picking up the dog’s droppings and other large things such as replacing toys etc., but freshening up the ground with natural rainfall is an additional way to keep disease away and our dogs happy and healthy.

Not extremely high or low temperatures

The temperatures in Stradbroke are not too high or low and therefore are the best for our dogs to live in, our mums to be pregnant and give birth in, and for our puppies to be raised in.

In February, the hottest month, our temperatures range from average highs of 26.4 Degrees Celcius and average lows of 13.7 Degrees Celcius.

In July our coldest month the temperatures range from average highs of 14.2 Degrees Celcius and average lows of 4.6 Degrees Celcius.

Photos

So the next time you see photos like these in the gallery below of our live-in yards over summer you will know that this soil – although it isn’t green and wonderful to look at in summer – is the best for our mums and dads and puppies health wise. We did not come to Stradbroke without reason, we came here as it is the best place in Australia to breed dogs. The sandy soil means that sometimes our photos dont look as wonderful as ones on green grass do, but we know that our dogs have a much better life because of the soil under their feet. We would rather have a better and healthier life for our dogs, than wonderful photos showing wonderful green pastures over summer.

 

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