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Every year from early summer I make several trips to Lake Coleridge, launch the boat at the Ryton river and explore the shoreline for new native plant seed sources. I am always amazed at the huge variety of natives growing on the step hill sides that drop sharply into the water especially on the north side of the lake.Black beech, cabbage trees, coprosma varieties, mountain flax, kowhai, pittosporum, olearia avicennifolia and lancewood are just some of the native plants that can be seen in healthy quantities and if you look hard even a few rata grow out of the rocky banks close to the water.

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Getting the best result from a native planting

When considering a native planting project on your farm, lifestyle block or home garden there are some basic steps to take that will increase your chances of success. First and fore most it is important to research or get advise on the right species of native plants for your area, taking into account climate and soil types. The next step is to define the area you wish to plant and calculate the number of plants needed, based on the plant choices you have made.
Before planting, the area needs to be cleared of all weeds, if you are using weed sprays for this remember to check that the chemical has no residual affect in the soil and under no circumstances use products like Tordon. This popular and effective brush killer is the preferred chemical when eradicating gorse and broom but it will leave residue in the ground that will likely kill newly planted natives. If it is necessary to clear brush weeds from your sight talk to your local ag supplier for alternatives. Working up the ground or ripping lines will be of some use to aid planting and give your plants a head start. I always advise my clients to use plant protectors, although they add an extra cost to the project and take time to install the benefits are significant. The protectors will supply shelter at an early age from extreme weather conditions, retain some moisture around the plant, give some protection from Hares and rabbits and make ongoing weed control easier. Some form of mulch such as bark or pea straw will help with moisture retention and weed suppression and where possible irrigation to the site will have a very positive effect on both survival rates and ongoing growth.
Following these simple steps should guarantee that in just a few years you will be able to enjoy all the benefits of an attractive native planting, more birds, more bees and an attractive profile for your property.

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