NZ Lifestyle Block

3 planning tips if you’re planting this winter


Deciduous trees are best planted mid-winter, and frosttende­r evergreens in spring.

1 Start with a soil test so you can adjust major imbalances, especially pH, before you start planting (July-September).

2 You'll want about half a cubic metre of compost per tree so start preparing this now. Gather compost materials from wherever you can. Ask friends for their green waste and neighbouri­ng farmers for any old hay, silage or bedding chips they don't want. However, be vigilant with biosecurit­y if you're importing composting materials. You don't want:

■ anything that contains noxious weeds.

■ bedding woodchip that may have been sprayed with antibacter­ial disinfecta­nt;

■ grass sprayed with glyphosate (some farmers do this before harvesting for silage).

■ horse manure that contains drench – if a poo pile is full of active worms, it should be fine.

3 If you already have grass in your orchard area, simply let it grow. When it's mowed, or it falls over due to old age, it will rot down and feed the soil.

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