Native Garden Nursery
Main Road, Makaraka, Gisborne, Phone: 06 868 4483, Fax: 06 868 4458, Email:, Web:

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Project Crimson

Native Garden Nursery supports Project Crimson in their efforts to preserve our Pohutukawa for future generations.

Planting Information


Always soak each plant in a bucket of water over the top of the bag and leave until bubbles no longer rise to the surface – this step is of extreme importance.

The Hole

Dig and cultivate a hole larger than the root mass of the plant. If you have difficult soil, add some well composted organic matter or extra potting mix in with the soil.

Take plant out of bag/container. Trim the rootball at bottom and tease out, slicing sides of rootball if necessary to encourage downward roots, not spiralling ones.

Place the plant in the hole about the same depth as it is in the container. Fill in the soil firmly around the plant. DON’T jump up and down and hard pack it.

Water generously, note that the soil in the container should be moist before planting.


Your worst enemy is the war against weeds. If your new plants aren’t visited by pests, weeds will keep you on your toes. Grasses and weeds will compete for moisture and nutrients. In some cases, having long grass around is beneficial for shelter from wind. However, it is still preferable to have an area free of weeds around the plant. This can be achieved in several ways:

  • Handweeding - Dare I say it! Very effective but very time consuming.
  • Mulching - Not only does it keep weeds down, but retains moisture in summer and warmth in winter. Don’t mulch in the middle of a dry spell, it will have the reverse effect. Use straw (not hay as it contains many weed seed heads), leaves, rotted manure, grass clippings, sawdust or shredded bark. If using the latter two, you must add some side dressing when mulching and keep onto it later as the bark will deplete the soil of nitrogen whilst breaking down.
  • Weedmat - Buy in long strips for large bank or garden plantings. Ensure your soil is well cultivated and fed before laying down. Never use black polythene, it will result in a ‘stale’ soil
  • Chemicals- There are pros and cons. You should always check with your chemical supplier for rates, plant tolerance etc, as there are many chemicals for many uses. Roundup and Buster are two commonly used herbicides for gardeners, but again, get information regarding safe spraying.


To make this job easier, try to do any large plantings autumn and winter. Early spring is OK too, with warming soil and frequent rain. Attention to weeds as mentioned above will assist with moisture retention, especially mulching or weedmatting. Rainsaver can be a useful product. In drier months a heavy water once a week will be sufficient. Plants which are watered regularly will soon develop roots nearer the surface and expect water.


Once again, if you initially used some extra good soil in the beginning, this will have a given you a head start and the side dressings will give an extra boost. Most natives enjoy a side dressing of blood and bone. It’s not expensive, its easy to get ... and your pets will love licking it up! But is very short term.

If you have access to manure, its cheaper still - side dress in autumn or early spring. Never put fresh manure into the soil near the stem or roots or apply during dry months, it can burn.

Slow release fertilisers are a controlled application which can be put in when planting (good for when planting eucalyptus) or as side dressing later. Agriform tablets are recommended.


There are no hard and fast rules except patience is a virtue! There are products such as ‘Treepel’ and ‘Plantskydd’ available which repel possums and rabbits.

There are many hideous but effective traps of varying degrees of torture - they are also a good way of monitoring numbers depending on how many caught or trapped.

Midnight escapades with the .22 are also effective - if you are a good shot.


Use in coastal plantings or on sites where there are long dry periods. The crystals are mixed with water to form a ‘sludge’ and placed in the bottom of the planting hole. The crystals retain water keeping a moisture reservoir over dry spells. Lasts for 3-5 years.

Use a small handful per each hole. Instructions come with product.

  • 50g Rainsaver $3.25 - approx 70 plants
  • 100g Rainsaver $5.50 - approx 140 plants

Agriform Tablets

A controlled release fertiliser, lasting up to two years without burning roots.
NPK 20 - 4.3 - 4.1 which gives a good nitrogen source for leaf growth and a balanced phosphorus and potassium source for other plant requirements. Comes in the form of a tablet which eliminates the need for measuring.
Rate when planting:

  • 1 x 10gm tablet root-trainer, PB2 or PB3 sized plant.
  • 2 x 10gm tablet per PB5 sized plant or larger.
  • 10gm tablet @0.20c each

(all prices above include GST and will be sent with your plant order to avoid extra freight charges)



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