Riparian planting lakeside

March: before we get started

Know your site. It's really important that you know what's under your site before you start digging!

Before you start

Check the history of a site before anything else, you never know what you might dig up. Archaeologically significant sites have restrictions around use and you don’t want to find out halfway through planting you’ve just dug up a dinosaur!  Luckily for me, we have done a full survey of the site so I know I won’t find any moa bones in my holes.

The timeline below gives the full run down of what I will be up to and when, to help you plan your own project. Because of my timeframes (I need to finish this unit by November) the timeline isn't ideal, but it will give you a good idea of what my blog will cover.

Keep an eye on my blog - I'll update it each month with photos and information on my progress. If you have any questions or would like to find out more, you can contact us by email:

Timeline for riparian revegetation project at the Auckland Botanic Gardens
Timing Activity

Site Assessment

  • planting zones
  • steam edge, flood area, standing water, swampy, moist soils, high land
  • soil type
  • project area m2
  • plant census
  • access
  • vehicle, people, animal, fencing
  • weeds
  • aspect
  • wind, sun

History of site

  • archaeological
  • iwi
  • builds
  • weeds
  • pest and disease

Prepare planting plan

  • decide on species to used - consider environmental factors such as frosts and flood
  • numbers based on zone size, 1m spacing
  • constraints and abilities based on our practices - no fertiliser used, water available from stream, not mulching

Weed control

  • identification
  • environmental vs. common garden
  • choose control method - chemical, physical
  • carry out control on target species

Prepare site

  • check weed control effective - undertake more if necessary
  • clear space for planting - remove dead plant material, cut back grass


  • gather group planting team
  • cover health and safety of site and equipment
  • demonstrate desired planting method
  • place out plants into correct zones (excluding stream edge, leave access path)
  • get planting
  • water in, if necessary, from stream


  • exclude animals and people
  • protect plants and stream
  • erosion control

Site inspection

  • once a month
  • flood damage - erosion, plants swept away
  • frost damage - mitigation
  • replace plants -only in zones where water will be accessible to plant through summer, root development
  • determine survival rate - ideal 90% first year, 80% second year

Stream bank planting

  • carried out now to avoid flood sweeping plants away - allows plants to establish root system, water supply easily accessible, won't dry out over summer
  • gather group planting team
  • cover health and safety of site and equipment
  • demonstrate desired planting method
  • get planting


  • cut back grass from around plantings - shears fast method, reduce likelihood damaging plants such as with line trimmer
  • assess/follow up weed control

Continued management will then be undertaken as stipulated in the Management Plan, including planting of successional species.