Planting Guide

Choosing to plant local native species is the first step towards growing a waterwise sustainable garden. Native plants require far less water, fertiliser and maintenance than traditional garden plants. Growing locals will encourage wildlife to come into your garden such as birds, butterflies and bandicoots.

Here are 10 steps to help you on your way;

  1. Plan first: think about where you are planting and why. This will help you choose the right species. Plan the placement of each plant, considering the size your plants at maturity. Consider infrastructure such as power lines.
  2. Weed control before planting will increase the survival rate of your plants. On large sites, undertaking weed control for 2 years before planting will give the greatest success. On a small scale, clear away any weeds around planting area, this removes the competition for your new plant.
  3. Dig a hole 4x bigger than the plant pot, then back fill the hole with the loose soil. Your plant roots will now have room to move.
  4. Next you can use some water crystals, if you would like. This helps to provide the plant with a water source when needed. It is important to soak the dry crystals in water before use so the crystals can absorb the water. Let them soak for about 1 hour and only use a small amount in the plant hole about half a teaspoon mixed with a small amount of soil. This will help the plant survive the first year of growing. Alternately you need to soak the soil in the hole before putting the plant in.
  5. At this point your ready to plant the new additions to your garden. Make sure you make a well around the plant with a slight depression so when watering the plants in the future it will hold the water around the seedling.
  6. Where necessary you may need to use a stake and a piece of rag or string to hold up the plant so it grows in a more natural way. The easterly winds in the City can force any plant to grow on an angle when they are still young.
  7. Fertiliser — native plants are very sensitive to Phosphorus. You may choose to use a slow release fertiliser that is specifically designed for natives. Take care not to use manures or traditional garden fertilisers as they will burn or kill native plants.
  8. Mulching in a garden situation or bare area can help to suppress weeds and keep in moisture in.
  9. Water your seedlings in well straight after planting. Watering your seedlings once per week over their first summer (where possible) will greatly improve your success rate.
  10. Regular control of weeds around your plantings will keep the competition at bay. This is recommended for at least the first 12 months.
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