Fill­ing up your gar­den with na­tives

Euroa Gazette - - HOME & GARDEN -

PLANT­ING na­tive plants in your home gar­den can be tricky, but all you need is a cou­ple of tips and tricks to get you started and you’ll be on your way.

There are many pop­u­lar na­tive plants em­bed­ded in our gar­dens around Aus­tralia, along with sev­eral gems right here in the Strathbogie Shire.

Banksias, wat­tles, waratahs, ferns and bot­tle­brushes are just some of the back­yard favourites.

Each year the Euroa Ar­bore­tum Nurs­ery pro­duces tens of thou­sands of plants for re­tail sale to in­di­vid­u­als and com­mu­nity groups, spe­cial­is­ing in plants na­tive to the area around Euroa from the Strathbogie Ranges to the plains to the west.

Seed is col­lected from these ar­eas by vol­un­teers and then grown in the nurs­ery, so it’s a per­fect spot to pick up some gems for your be­gin­nings in na­tive plant­ing.

When start­ing your na­tive plant­ing process you’ll need to make sure you have cho­sen a po­si­tion suited to the needs of the plant, for ex­am­ple full sun, moist soils etc.

You’ll need to dig a hole a lit­tle deeper than and twice as wide as the pot, in fill slightly to al­low the roots to start grow­ing through the soil.

Care­fully re­move the plant from the pot, place it in the cen­tre of the plant­ing hole and in fill with the soil, which you can add com­post too.

En­sure the top of the pot­ting mix is level with sur­round­ing soil and press it down gen­tly.

Wa­ter it in well as this will en­sure the wa­ter goes beyond the roots and you may need to stake the plant for pro­tec­tion.

The key to get­ting this whole na­tive plant thing just right is be­ing able to keep an eye on the plant as it grows.

Over the course of the 12 months make sure they get a good soak­ing once a week in dry weather, with deep wa­ter ev­ery so of­ten, as it’s much bet­ter than a light wa­ter­ing daily and will pro­mote a stronger root sys­tem.

Mulching should be done to a depth of 7.5 to 10cm, which de­creases wa­ter evap­o­ra­tion from the soil and en­cour­ages worms and bee­tles in the soil, keep­ing it aer­ated.

It’s also im­por­tant to note that when it comes to na­tive plants, it’s gen­er­ally safest to steer clear of any fer­tiliser, as na­tive and indige­nous plants are adapted to sur­vive in low nu­tri­ent con­di­tions.

For main­te­nance of the plants it’s im­por­tant to prune, re­mov­ing any dead-wood or dis­eased plant ma­te­rial.

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