Planting at Arnold Acres

Filling in the gaps

Any place that isn’t either easy to mow or part of a view is fair game for filling in with native grasses or trees. This area is a very wet bank on the slope down to the river.

A few of the new plantings

The plant at the bottom has been surrounded with a small piece of black plastic to keep the weeds down. Cliff and I used to put a layer of cardboard over the soil but wekas shredded the cardboard in short order. We didn’t find that out until we had planted about 50 plants—what a mess.

Three bamboo stakes are put through holes in the plastic to anchor green plastic sleeves which protect the plants from hares. A little fertilizer is put into the holes and some compost is added if needed to fill in holes left from removing stones.

Planted a year ago

This little lemonwood was planted a while ago so I removed half of the green sleeve to let the young tree grow more easily.

A good spot for a flax?

This is another area that was calling out for a flax to keep the bank from eroding. After starting to clear the spot with the string trimmer I heard the telltale sound of plastic crunching. It looked like a good spot because it was a good spot—a flax had been planted a few years ago and swallowed up by long grass.

The scraggly, but rescued, flax

Hopefully the roots are stronger than the leaves and the flax will start growing again soon.

Not gopher holes

When a stone sits high enough above the soil to be scraped by the mower blades it has to go.  These are just two of around ten holes left by stones removed with a crowbar on one afternoon. The holes then get filled in with spare soil.

One that got away—briefly

This stone has the telltale mark of having been hit. It’s a sound I never want to hear. This stone is a little bit like an iceberg with only a small part above ground.

Too big to pull out

This was a candidate for getting scraped so I uncovered it but it was too big to budge. The bamboo stake is 600mm long which gives an idea of the size of the stone. Now I’ll have to try another method to get it out or just kill the grass around it so I don’t hit it later.

A pesky pukeko

I’ve been sowing seed to fill in bare spots in the lawn. The seed is coated with bird repellent but there is something about it the pukekos like—maybe the young, tender shoots of new grass.

Retreating temporarily

If I even walk to the front window the birds walk away quickly. When I go outside they run and if I clap my hands they fly away. They prefer running to flying but are big scaredy-birds. A short while later they are back again. Never a dull moment here.

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