Building Gardens

If you have clay soil, or soil that drains slowly after rain, save your back and don’t dig into it to plant your tree.

Loosen up the surface, spread some gypsum and mound up some good garden soil and plant into that. This will give your tree good drainage.

By the time it’s roots get down to the original soil level, the gypsum, worms and organic matter will have done their job and loosened up the soil enough to allow the roots to draw nutrients from the clay.

If your soil is more open or even sandy then the addition of some organic matter will help to give your tree a good start. The compost should be VERY WELL DECOMPOSED before you use it near your plants. A compost such as Kriedemanns organic compost or composted cow manure can be mixed with the existing soil to plant your tree.

How to plant trees

Dig a hole roughly twice the size of the root ball of the new plant, ensuring there is no glazing on the sides of the hole. Backfill and place the tree so that the finished level of the rootball is the same level as the surrounding soil.

Never place fertiliser or lawn clippings in the hole when you plant. (Specially made slow release plant pills are the exception). Do not fertilise your new tree until you see new growth on the tree after planting. Then apply an organic fertiliser such as Organic Xtra to the drip zone of the plant.

Give your new tree a stake to help keep it stable while it establishes its new roots

The next job is to place mulch around the area you have planted. Mulch helps maintain even soil moisture and temperature and keeps down the competition from weeds. Keep the mulch clear of the stem to minimise the risk of fungal infections in the stem

Keep your new tree well watered until it is established. Remember the whole tree depends on quite a small rootball so don’t let it dry out particularly in hot, dry and windy weather

If your fruit tree is a grafted variety, always remove any shoots which form below the graft. Fruit trees take a bit of maintenance to achieve optimum results. Please talk to us about the requirements of your plants.


Water restrictions ? – yes you can have a great garden using less water!

Use these proven methods in garden beds or pots and you will save time and water in the garden

Improve the soil

Organic matter absorbs and holds moisture within the soil. Add compost, animal manure or organic matter to help water to stay in the root zone for longer. Use of water crystals or wetting agents is also recommended

Create groups of plants in your garden based on their water needs….

Placing plants with similar water requirements together makes it easier to get the right amount of water to different plants. Some plants naturally require less water than others. If you have some ‘thirsty’ favourites try placing them in one area which is less exposed and which is easy to water if they need it

Use correct watering techiques…

Watering deeply but less often encourages deep roots and prevents disease (although some sandy soils may need shorter more frequent bursts). Don’t ‘fairy water’ the foliage – keep watering slow and low. To reduce evaporation water early in the day or late in the evening and don’t water if it is very windy

Water the garden only when it needs it…

Water plants only when they really need a drink. If the soil is damp or the plants look good wait another day to water. Landscape to channel rainwater into your garden beds

Mulch the soil surface…

Mulching cuts down the water loss due to evaporation. Use straw, compost, pine bark, chopped lucerne or sugar cane. Mulch should be 7 to 10 centimetres deep and needs to be topped up regularly. Leave some space around the stem or trunk of the plant. Don’t forget your pots!

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