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How to plant a Dry-tolerant Garden

14 Dec, 2020

With dry weather on the way, try planting a low-maintenance, dry-tolerant garden. From vibrant colour to statement structure, an easy-care garden can be functional and beautiful.

Starting with the Soil

Planting is a bit like building, you need a good foundation to build your garden, and the foundation is the soil. Most of Auckland’s soil is clay and needs a little work before planting, so introduce organic matter such as Kings Organic Compost, sheep pellets, leaf mould or well-rotted manure as well as Clay Breaker Gypsum. Condition the soil by mixing it in with the clay instead of just putting it on top. This will help retain moisture for longer, and encourage worms back into the area. Healthy soil means healthy plants!

Dry-tolerant Plants

Here are some suggestions of dry-tolerant plants to plant this summer

Trees and shrubs

Certain trees and shrubs can survive without being given water once they have become established (after around 2 years). Try olive trees, banksia, laurus nobilis (bay), albizzia and jacaranda. Proteas, manuka, leucadendrons, grevilleas and leptospermums are also fantastic dry-tolerant shrubs, however they are primarily available in winter.

Herbs and Edibles

‘Dry herbs’ enjoy full sun and can withstand heat: sage, rosemary, thyme and oregano. Tough edibles include natal plum, dragon fruit, grapes, chilean guava and artichoke.

Pots and Hanging Baskets

Try ice plants, chrysanthemum daisies, calendula, gazania, salvia, nasturtium, silver falls dichondra and livingstone daisies.

Grasses and Native Plants

Native plants tend to do well in New Zealand’s climate: try astelia, carex, cordyline (cabbage trees), phormium (flax), pseudopanax, corokia, coprosma and hebe.

Lasting Colour for the Garden

Try planting petunia, lavender, euphorbias, echium, sedum, paper daisies, portulaca, convolvulous, and statice.

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