Planting through the drier months can be very rewarding when done the correct way. Long warm days can make for rapid growth provided you keep an eye on soil moisture levels.

Many of our local native plants have adapted to cope with dry summers and salt laden winds. Look around at situations that pohutukawa, flax, olearia, renga renga lily, griselinia, coprosma and many more plants grow in the wild.

Conditioning the soil by turning over a decent amount of ground and adding plenty of compost and organic material will help with moisture penetration and retention. This is very important in sandy soils close to the beach.

Before planting soak the plant in a bucket of water, loosen the root ball and place it in your prepared hole then firm the soil around it and water well before laying a thick layer of mulch.

Mulching is very important, we recommend bark, post peels, straw or something similar. Mulch can retain up to 70% of the water which would otherwise be lost through evaporation, it will also protect the soil from the sun and drying winds. Keep the weeds out as they are competing with your plants for water.

It is best to soak your garden thoroughly and then let it dry out before soaking again. Don't over water, too much can be damaging to plants and encourages fungus diseases in particular root rots and mildew etc.