Posted on 26th August, 2021
As we are all thrown into another lockdown here in New Zealand, its’ given us some space to take a quick breath and be relieved that we finished our revegetation planting a week ago! We hope you have all had a chance to get outside through this lockdown, the bush around us has shown some spectacular flowers from clematis, manuka, karo and even a few kowhai!
This year's planting on the family farm next to the nursery, is another step toward our goal of regenerating the whole farm. We added another 3.5ha, adjacent to the felled pine block that was planted over the last 2 years. We had an expert crew of local planters who put in the hard mahi to get these plants in the ground before the start of spring when many of the plants begin growing again. Guy was kept busy with plant logistics, making sure the right plants were going in the right places and keeping up with the planters!
The autumn growth of rank kikuyu was sprayed by helicopter with amazing precision and speed. The steep slope and volume of rank grass made this the best option. Now the grass is dead and drying out, we think it's going to make excellent mulch to protect our new plants and suppress some of the weeds. It will be really interesting to see how this works compared to the adjacent block that had the aftermath of weeds from a felled pine forest.
As the planting site is a steep, clay hillside, plant selection is crucial to ensure they can survive through the summer droughts we have been experiencing. Over 6000 manuka and almost 9000 kanuka were planted alongside 135 pohutukawa, almost 900 mahoe, some kowhai, ribbonwood, cabbage trees, flax, ake ake and karo. That’s over 17,500 plants that will grow at different speeds and invite different bugs and birds to the area, spreading more seeds and slowly building a forest.
Maintenance will of course be crucial to control weeds that grow, especially in the first year of planting. We were doing maintenance every couple of months through autumn, summer and spring on the pine block, so we will be checking this site regularly to monitor progress.
We will keep our planting and maintenance going in years to come, with another adjacent block planned for planting next year. We are widening a corridor of planting from the road to the ocean and then one day regenerating natives across the whole farm.