Posted on October 31, 2019
The bulk of the 2019 planting projects for the Kauri Park clients are finished. Labour Weekend is the date where we focus our activities from delivering plants out the gate to preparing and producing plants for next season.
2019 has been another productive year for NZ planting up streams and waterways and many other mitigation projects. We have been involved in lots of excellent projects that have hopefully satisfied the Planners, Architects and Ecologists that work together to make our environment a better place for us to live in harmony with nature and to make improvements as we grow.
Our deliveries have once again taken us to some of the most pristine places on earth such as this project on the Coromandel Peninsular. We take huge honour in enhancing these landscapes.
The focus now is on the 2020 projects we have to produce for. The Kauri Park Nurseries in Waipu, Kaiwaka and Palmerston North are at the emptiest stage of the year. In fact, it looks like we are producing used tyres as a crop.
Used tyres used as a weight to secure the weedmat to the ground when the areas are emptied of plants
Between the plants being removed from the weedmat and the next batch being placed down there is an annual repairs and maintenance program that happens. The weedmat is cleaned and washed and treated for pest species of weeds, fungus and insects.
The irrigation is serviced and ready for the summer months ahead. The drainage around the roads is maintained to minimise puddles and potholes from holding water alongside the plants. These maintenance steps all help with the health and biosecurity of the nursery.
Matt is busy maintaining and servicing the irrigation ready for 2020
Planning for the 2020 planting season was mostly completed early 2019 with species numbers committed to the program. Cuttings have been struck, seeds sown and seedlings transplanted. This is where the importance of understanding the project lead-in timelines involved in Eco- Sourcing seeds from the regions of NZ for projects. These seeds for 2020 at the latest need to be collected in the Summer and Autumn of 2019. Kauri Park have been preparing plants for the 2020 season for 12 months already. Our manufacturing timelines are very long when you consider the complexity over 24 months it takes for some Native plants to have the seed collected, stored, sown and transplanted maybe twice into what is still a small plant in nursery standards. Eco-Sourcing is one of Kauri Park’s strong features combined with our very large seed bank. Possibly one of the largest Native plant seed banks in New Zealand.
Eco-Sourced seedlings are coded and traced through the production stages
Kauri Park have their own recipes for growing media in the pots. This is a mix of Pine Bark, Pumice and Coir Fibre. Fertilizers and pH stabilizers are added to these mixes depending on what plant species we are potting at the time. Many countries have only peat-based mixes but in New Zealand we have a large forestry industry that allows us to use composted bark as a raw material. The coir fibre helps with moisture retention and a surface area to bind nutrients with the plant roots and reduces leaching. The pumice helps open the mix up so that the pot doesn’t become waterlogged. The Kauri Park growing media recipes are from years of experience in growing small Native Plants. One recipe does not fit all when it comes to growing a quality plant ready for the harsh environments that many plants will be planted into.
Bark Fines, Coir Fibre & Pumice fines are combined with fertilizer and pH stabilizers in numerous recipes as specialized Kauri Park growing media mixes.
The production lines are ramping up for the next 90 working days. There are plenty of interruptions throughout the Christmas/New Year period breaks, but this is all planned for and we have started the journey. Over this time period Kauri Park will average around 130,000 plants being planted each day or around 15,000 per hour. Some days will be more and some less. The amount of growing media needed is approximately 100m3 per day depending on the pot sizes running through the production lines. It is a very busy time and a lot to co-ordinate from the production planning team to have all the right raw materials arriving at the right time.
The different teams at Kauri Park involved in the cultivation and planting of seedlings
2020 here we come with more than 10,000,000 plants to further Grow and Green New Zealand.
Non-Related Note: From all of us here at Kauri Park to those affected by the huge fire at Sky City…”9 years ago nearly to the day (21st for us), we experienced the devastating loss that fire can bring. Be strong and involve the whole team in recovery”.
The weather compared to the two events is almost identical with the strong gusting westerlies (Labour Weekend weather). We also would like to acknowledge the bravery and amazing skills of our firefighting guys and girls. I don’t think the emergency services get enough recognition for their skills and selflessness attitudes. Next time you are in a coffee queue with one of these people, go ahead and shout them a coffee.