I am planting a dispersal field (or effluent field), what plants should I use?

The main reasons for planting an effluent field is to either soak up wastewater and transpire it though the plants foliage, or to absorb nutrients out of the wastewater so that it does not make its way into the underground water table and into stream systems. The best plants to use for this are those that have vigorous growth habits and can tolerate wet soil conditions.

For planting your effluent field, we would suggest using mainly grasses, sedges and flax planted at 1m spacings, you could also use small numbers of tree species that we would recommend planting at 5m spacings.

Grasses/ Sedges/ Flax:

• Carex secta (Purei)

• Carex lessoniana (Ruatahi)

• Carex geminata (Cutty grass)

• Cyperus ustulatis (Giant umbrella sedge)

• Carex virgata (Swamp sedge)

• Austroderia/ Cortaderia fulvida (Toetoe/Kakaho)

• Juncus gregiflorus/ edgarii (Wiwi)

• Apodasmia similis (Oioi)

• Machaerina sinclairii (Pepepe)

• Phormium tenax (Harakeke)

Shrubs/ Trees:

• Leptospermum scoparium (Manuka/Teatree)

• Cordyline australis (Cabbage tree)

• Carpodetus serratus (Putaputaweta)

• Coprosma propinqua (Mingimingi)

• Laurelia nouvae-zealandiae (Pukatea)

• Dacrycarpus dacrydioides (Kahikatea)

What is the difference between Carex secta and Carex virgata?

These two grasses are very similar and often mistaken for each other. Carex secta grows better in swampy areas than Carex virgata, the Virgata does not grow quite as large as the Secta and is more dry tolerant. Colour wise the Carex secta has a slightly more goldy tinge to it while the Virgata is more vibrant green, it gets more difficult to tell the difference in colour as the plants reach full growth. See more detail on both of these grasses on our website – https://www.kauriparknurseries.co.nz/plants/carex-secta-purei & https://www.kauriparknurseries.co.nz/plants/carex-virgata

What is the best time of the year to plant NZ natives?

The best time of the year to plant large areas of native revegetation in between May – October. This allows the plants to establish in their new homes during the winter months while they are getting a constant supply of water/rain. Planting outside this timeframe means that watering may be required to keep the plants alive.

What plants should I use in my wetland?

Wetland plantings are usually split into two zones call ‘Fully submerged’ and ‘Terrestrial’.

The Fully submerged zone requires plants that live in the water and can live completely submerged under water for a time. These include the Baumea/ Machaerina articulata, Baumea/ Machaerina rubiginosa, Baumea/ Machaerina teretifolia, Baumea/ Machaerina juncea, Bolboschoenus fluvilatilis, Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani and Typha orientalis.

The Terrestrial zone (also known as Boggy zone) is the outer edge of the wetland and requires plants that can survive in dry ground as well as having their roots in the water from time to time (as the level of water in the wetland rises and falls). The plants best suited for this zone include; Carex secta, Carex lessoniana, Carex geminata, Carex virgata, Apodasmia/ Leptocarpus similus, Isolepsis/Ficinia nodosa, Eleocharis acuta, Juncus gregiflorus/ edgarii, Juncus pallidus, Phormium tenax, Cordyline australis and Plagianthus divaricatus.

I want to plant a short hedge to border my garden, what should I use?

The two most common ‘short hedging’ lines are the Buxus hedging and Teucrium fruticans. The Buxus hedging has a dark green dense foliage and depending on the variety can grow to a maximum height of 1-1.5m. The Buxus is slow growing and is excellent for formal gardens, topiary displays and container planting.

The Teucrium fruticans (also known as the Silver germander) has grey-green leaves with white undersides. Lavender blue flowers appear through spring/summer and at full maturity the plants can grow to a maximum of 2m high. The Teucrium are fast growing and look great as a clipped hedge bordering a garden.

What spacings should I plant my Griselinia hedge at?

The closer together the Griselinia’s are planted the quicker the hedge will form. We would suggest planting at 750mm spacings. For a more instant hedge the plants could be placed at 500mm spacings or if you are looking to save on costs spacings could be as much as 1m.

For a Manuka plantation, what spacing should the plants be planted at/ how many stems per hectare?

Plant spacing’s (stems per hectare) depends largely on the contour of the land.

For steep hill country we recommend planting 1100 – 1500 plants per ha and for more gentle contoured land we recommend increasing the density to between 1800 – 2500 plants per ha. Other nectar sources (clover etc) will dilute the honey so the larger the area of Manuka the more concentrated and valuable the honey will be. For more gentle contoured land, Manuka can also be grown in hedgerows. The hedgerows can be kept trimmed, with the trimmings being able to be sold for leaf oil extraction. The trimmed plants can be maintained in a juvenile state thereby substantially increasing the plants longevity.

How quick do you start to get a return from a Manuka plantation?

Usually the first honey harvest from a newly planted plantation will begin 3 years after planting, with maximum honey yields occurring from year 6 onwards. In saying this, some Manuka plants will flower as quickly as 1 year post planting.