Demystyfing the Bradley method of bush regeneration

Posted on: 21 March 2017

Bush regeneration is simply the rehabilitation of a bush land that's infected with weeds to a healthier community of indigenous plants and animals. An interesting technique to the rehabilitation of weed-infected bush land is the Bradley method. This article explains the basic principles of the Bradley method and why you should consider using it to control invasive plants in your garden or yard.

3 principles of Bradley method

Principle 1: Start working in areas where indigenous plants are thriving and gradually move to the weedy areas

When native or indigenous plants are allowed the chance, they are likely to recover the land that has been taken up by the weeds. The idea here is to start clearing the weeds in areas where the indigenous plants are flourishing and slowly clear into the weed-affected areas.  The danger of overclearing here is zero; therefore, you should start here. Keep in mind that weeds don't sprout up readily in areas where the natural plants are already fully established. 

Principle 2: While weeding, maintain minimal environment disturbance

Next, move into sections of heavier weeds characterized by at least some indigenous undergrowth. Select an area of considerable weed growth where natural plants are competing against the weeds. Take out the weeds and allow the native plants enough time occupy the weeded areas. Once the native plants start to flourish, move to another strip of land and repeat the process. While weeding, avoiding disturbing the native soil. Due to its natural mulch, it's resistant to weed attack, so leave it undisturbed. 

Principle 3: Avoid overclearing 

Preserve the advantage already achieved. Don't be tempted to clear deeper into the weeded areas before the regenerating native plants have started to dominate the area. Note that weed seeds always continue to sprout up in newly cleared sections; therefore, they should be eliminated as soon as possible. This is far more important compared to starting to clear new weed-infected areas. However unsightly an area of thick weeds may appear, avoid clearing it until the indigenous plants have been fully established. 

No use of herbicides

As you can see, the Bradley method of bush regeneration makes no use of herbicides. The native vegetation is regenerated by using methods that effectively get rid of the weeds and promote dominant growth of indigenous plants, that is, through skillful physical weeding. Although the process might be laborious, it's better than using poisons which affect the environment. 

In conclusion, you can approach any weed-infected strip of land with the Bradley method in mind.