Posted on 28th August, 2020

Kia ora to you all,
the team here at Tawapou hope that wherever this finds you in these difficult times, you are looking after your wellbeing and hopefully spending some time outside amongst the trees. Getting your hands dirty in some soil is an awesome way to take your mind away from what is happening around the world at the moment and really focus on your own ‘bubble’ and stay grounded.

Sad (ish) news first -
We are sorry to say that we won't be holding our annual spring sale this year. Holding a big sale during the present climate of health issues and restrictions on movement, we feel it would not be the responsible thing to do. But don't worry we have some great Spring plants specials starting next week

On a more positive note -
It has been one year since the public planting day on the farm here at Tawapou, and we are excited about the successful revegetation that has been happening. We thought some now and then pictures might be of particular interest to the 90ish people who helped us with the planting. As keen gardeners or plant lovers you will be well aware of the extreme drought that was experienced this last season, it was the driest summer on record. Each day waking up to blue skies and no rain was becoming a big cause for concern with our massive planting project from winter 2019. However, as you can see in the photos it has been a huge success with minimal losses and the whole area starting to look like a mini forest already.
A lot of the right work must go into successful reveg jobs and planting the trees is only a small part of the process. Timing your planting is very important, the first of the 65000 trees planted last year went in in June, as soon as the ground was wet enough and the days were short enough to stop the soil drying out was best. Having the planting areas zoned and using the right plants for different conditions of each zone is important. The photos show the success of having manuka in the more extreme conditions. All the plants were from locally sourced seed/plants which again is another variable that can really add to minimal losses, as the plants happily belong there and know they can do well in that environment. To speed up the time getting that true forest environment, we planted some larger hardwood species. This allows a place for the birds to do their wonderful thing and provide wet seeded plants and create a more natural flow of the new forest. The most successful re vegetations are self sown on their own, and any selection mistakes made will be corrected over time. The Puriri has handled the drought in a tremendous fashion and we love them for it, lush green growth, so big and bushy even after all that sunshine. Spacing and planting technique are other factors that if done correctly will mean less maintenance less cost, fewer losses, and much healthier trees. Making sure every plant is planted at the right depth and is very secure in its spot and not wobbly will give them the best chance of survival. These plants are all less than 1m apart, it is cheaper to buy smaller plants and plant them closer than to space with bigger plants (smaller holes too!) having them closer together shades the ground slowing down the invasion of weeds meaning less weeding. Yew! Maintenance and weed control is VITAL in the success of any planting especially at this scale and the 1st 12months are crucial. This area has had 4 sweep throughs over spring/summer/autumn mainly targeting tobacco and ink weed. It is best to put in all the hard work early by not allowing the weeds to get above the plants. Otherwise they can get lost and it is all the more difficult to find and release the plants which is fundamental to success, weeds also compete robing the ground of nutrients and moisture.

Next year the plan is to continue widening the corridor of planting on the farm from the road to the sea with another 8ha to be reforested back into natives. YAY!

Coming up at Tawapou Coastal Natives -
Stay tuned for an update on the Hundertwasser Arts Centre rooftop planting getting underway soon(ish). We’re gearing up for the massive task of getting the large trees we have donated craned up on to the roof! Fingers crossed for us it all goes well.