Friday May 25, 2018

Water-wise planting of indigenous trees


Dig a square hole, 500mmx1000mm deep. This allows new roots to penetrate via corners.

Keep dark topsoil separate from light  subsoil.  This contains the plant nutrients.

If available, put some stones at bottom of hole for good drainage.

To dark topsoil add half bag compost, 1 cup superphosphate, handful (3tblsp) 3:2:1 or 3:1:5.

Mix well with spade and place in bottom of hole so the roots get the best nutrients.

Remove plastic bag carefully, disturbing the soil around the roots as little as possible and place tree upright in the hole so that the base of the tree is just below the level of the ground surface.

Use the remainder of the soil and pack it firmly into the hole. Use a stake to tie to the tree if available.

Measure 1 spade length in distance round tree & use remaining soil to make a “dam  wall”.  Fill dam with 20 litres water.

10cm mulch like leaves, thatch or stones inside the dam will prevent rapid evaporation. Mulch must NOT touch the stem or it will rot.

When planting SMALL trees, plant an empty 2- litre cooldrink bottle with some holes made at the bottom (or a pipe) at an angle next to the tree’s roots.  The top must stick out of the ground.

Fill the bottle with water once a week . Replace top to prevent evaporation.

Place a stake next to the tree and tie it loosely to the trunk with an old stocking or other soft material to help it grow straight. Stake must be 300mm higher than top of tree.


Give each tree a good soak!   10 litres – 20 litres:-

Once a week for the first month.

Every second week for months 2 and 3

Once a month for months 4 to 12.

After that they can look after themselves if they are planted in a good place!



(compiled by Fenja)

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