FAQs – Preparing Soil for Natives | When to Water


SERIES 29 | Episode 14

Do you have to prepare soil before planting natives?

JOSH:  We’re always harping on about preparing soil before planting, but do you have to do it for natives? Well that depends on the plant and where you are.

For local indigenous plants

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These require very little, if any, soil preparation. Simply get rid of any weeds, loosen the soil and perhaps adding a very small amount of native-friendly (low in phosphorus) organic fertiliser.

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Non-local native plants

These plants will require more soil preparation. Some of the hybrid varieties will need improved soil and like regular fertilising, When planting these, incorporate compost and fertiliser into the planting hole and then mulch after planting.

Moral of the story: If you’re planting local species, indigenous to your area, typically they need minimal soil improvement, but plants that like more food will need some care. If in doubt, read the label and also ask at your garden centre.

When’s the best time to water?

SOPHIE: Here in South Australia, because of our intense dry heat, I like to refresh the plants at the end of the day to make sure they have a chance to recover before the next day of heat. I am trying to get water on their root system and not on their foliage, but what I find is if you do get water on the foliage, it will evaporate in a few minutes anyway. If you’re in areas where there’s high humidity however, you don’t want to have that water sitting on that foliage overnight or you’re likely to get fungal problems, so in areas with high humidity, I’d suggest you water early in the morning.

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Sophie’s suggestion:

Dry climates – water in the evening

Humid climates – water in the morning [external_footer]