For a lot of people on the land, June and July mean revegetation time. The soil is typically damp and the days are cool. The rains have usually started in earnest (if they’re going to start at all!) and the days are cooler – which is exactly what the tender young plants need. After leaving the nursery in trays or small “tubes” (special nursery pots) and being planted out in the open, they are particularly vulnerable to drying out and need time for their roots to settle in and develop. Now that they are no longer watered by automated overhead sprinklers, their roots must grow deep into the soil as quickly as possible to sustain the plant in drier times. Rains are often not reliable in April or May so early planting can be a gamble, and planting in August or September often doesn’t give the young plants long enough with favourable conditions to establish their root systems. Planting in June or July gives them maximum time to get their roots down before the onset of the hot dry weather.
Well before planting, planning for revegetation should take into account weed control and site preparation works. Wherever weeds proliferate, they should be treated well before planting to ensure native plant seedlings have the best chance of survival in their earliest days. Untreated weeds usually outgrow the native seedlings and often choke them out while they are still young and vulnerable. A lot of site works are best done with machinery and can include scalping, site levelling, breaking up root clusters of treated weeds and, in heavier soils, ripping to help plant roots and moisture penetrate compacted soils. With well-planned weed and site preparation, planting in June or July gives the young native seedlings the best possible chance of establishing and growing into healthy shrubs and trees.