Benefits of indigenous gardens
Indigenous plants can be used to beautiful effect in almost any style of garden. Not only are they sustainable, with lower maintenance requirements than other gardens, but indigenous plants are surprisingly easy to maintain and propagate, are fauna-friendly and generally use less water than other plants.
Indigenous plants are great for your garden because they:
- are sustainable
- have low maintenance requirements (compared to other gardens) are easy to maintain and propagate
- thrive without the need for artificial fertilisers or sprays
- use minimal water
- are fauna-friendly; attracting, providing food and shelter for local native birds and insects, which helps preserve the biodiversity of Bayside.
How to Create a Bayside indigenous garden in five steps
Plan your garden
Get to know the site conditions you will be working with. Broadly speaking, Bayside soils are largely sandy, meaning they are nutrient poor, freely draining and high in salt.
Create a layout of your garden, noting the sunny/shady spots, wet/dry areas, high use areas, existing soil conditions, garden uses (e.g. entertaining zones, high-use play areas, quiet relaxation, habitat).
Prepare your garden
Like all gardening, soil preparation is vital. Before planting, dig the ground over well. Where there is clay, add a little gypsum. If your soil is very sandy, you could consider adding some organic matter. Organic mulches and manures are preferable to chemical fertilisers as many natives do not like high levels of phosphorus.
Choose your plants wisely
Select the plant to suit the section of the garden it is going in. If a section of your garden is shady and damp, select plants that are suited to those conditions rather than trying to change the site.
Talk to someone at our community nursery about indigenous plants.
Plant during spring or autumn
The best time to sow seeds or plant cuttings is spring or autumn when the soil is moist and the weather is not too hot. Avoid planting in summer as the plants become heat and water stressed. Indigenous plants are best planted as tubestock, rather than larger pot sizes, as they are more likely to develop excellent root systems and be more tolerant of drought conditions.
Maintain your investment
After planting, mulch garden beds well to minimise the growth of weeds, encourage organisms such as worms, and to maintain moisture in the soil. New plants need sufficient watering during their first three months until established.
Indigenous plants generally need very little ongoing maintenance but do benefit from the occasional prune after flowering. Keep mulch topped up every season to keep up the condition of the soil and your indigenous garden should thrive.