8 tips for cre­at­ing the per­fect ri­par­ian zone

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Our Water -

Where pos­si­ble, it is gen­er­ally best to select na­tives grown from lo­cally-sourced seed as na­tive species not sourced lo­cally can in­ter­fere with ge­net­ics of the lo­cal va­ri­ety. Take care with non­indige­nous plants as they can be­come weeds and in­fest the area, and dis­perse down­stream.

The wider the ri­par­ian mar­gin, the more op­por­tu­nity there is for sed­i­ment and nu­tri­ents to be fil­tered. Some ar­eas may re­quire larger set-back dis­tances be­tween the fence and water­way. These in­clude ar­eas that are in­ten­sively farmed with high nu­tri­ent in­puts, wa­ter­ways prone to stream bank ero­sion, or steep slopes with rapid run-off.

Con­sider fenc­ing re­quire­ments, in­clud­ing: – the type of fence; – the set­back dis­tance from the water­way; – plant se­lec­tion; – weed con­trol and main­te­nance re­quire­ments. Fenc­ing to ex­clude stock re­duces soil com­paction, max­imises in­fil­tra­tion of wa­ter to your plants, and can also re­duce stock losses. Al­ways in­stall your fence be­fore plant­ing if an­i­mals are likely to tram­ple or eat your new plants – you don’t want all your hard work to be­come a buf­fet!

Have a weed man­age­ment plan in place be­fore you start plant­ing. Ini­tial weed con­trol should be com­pleted well be­fore plant­ing, in some cases up to a year in ad­vance. On­go­ing main­te­nance may be re­quired and con­sid­er­a­tion should be given to the best method and tim­ing of ap­pli­ca­tion if you are us­ing her­bi­cide. Care needs to be taken when spray­ing around wa­ter­ways as some her­bi­cides con­tam­i­nate wa­ter and can be toxic to aquatic life.

Think of the bees. Ri­par­ian plant­ing has ben­e­fits be­yond im­prov­ing wa­ter qual­ity, it in­creases na­tive veg­e­ta­tion cover and sup­ports bee and na­tive bird pop­u­la­tions. Dif­fer­ent species of bees emerge from their nests at dif­fer­ent times of the year. En­sur­ing you have plants flow­er­ing through­out the year is a good way to en­cour­age pol­li­na­tion by bees and birds.

Com­mon ri­par­ian plants such as cab­bage tree, flax, kahikatea, manuka and to­tara flower through­out sum­mer. Au­tumn-flow­er­ing na­tives in­clude long-leaved lace­bark and lance­wood, while five-fin­ger and kowhai will flower through­out the win­ter months. Puriri and titoki will flower through­out most of the year but are sen­si­tive to frost when young, so it is best to plant once other veg­e­ta­tion is es­tab­lished.

May to Septem­ber is gen­er­ally the best time for plant­ing as the land is gen­er­ally wet­ter and there is suf­fi­cient time for plants to be­come es­tab­lished be­fore sum­mer comes around. Coastal ar­eas or places that are drought-prone may need to be planted a lit­tle ear­lier in the sea­son to max­imise plant growth. In frost­prone ar­eas it is best to wait un­til spring when the cooler weather has passed.

If you have like-minded neigh­bours, con­sider get­ting a lo­cal group to­gether to help each other and share ideas. Make a com­mu­nity event of it by in­volv­ing lo­cal schools and com­mu­nity or en­vi­ron­men­tal groups.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.