Maintenance


One of the joys of spending time in a garden, is the time spent attending to the many jobs necessary to keep the garden being a productive and attractive space. A garden will quickly lose it's appeal if weeds are left to grow and set seed, or plants die and are not replaced.

See the 'Irrigation' page for important information on maintaining Arid Zone Gardens. An effective watering regime is a vital part of encouraging a healthy, vibrant garden adapted to local conditions.

See the 'Mulching' page to reduce the amount of maintenance you will need to spend on your garden.

Weeds can smother native plants and compete with them for water, sun and nutrients. It is preferable to have weeds under control before planting, however, you will also need to continue to remove weeds regularly. They are invasive! Couch Grass and Buffel Grass are two of the most common weeds in Arid Zone gardens. Small areas of Buffel Grass can be chipped with a mattock, making sure all roots are properly removed. Larger areas can be sprayed with herbicide when plants are green and growing rapidly.
Couch Grass has a very deep root system, and is sometimes difficult to eradicate. Like Buffel, spraying Couch Grass when it is actively growing is the most effective way of ensuring its removal. If you're attemping to hand-remove Couch, make sure all rhizomes are removed from the soil, as they will resprout.

In any garden there will be the need to replace and replant plants which have died, outgrown their location or become unproductive. Keeping a "Garden Diary" is a great way to record the work that you do. Writing down in a notebook the date and a brief description of the activities will help you remember what work was done and can be used as a reference to plan the coming growing seasons.