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Why You Should Plant Now

By Ben Sims
11 June, 2019

Winter rains are here, free water, plant now!!!

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Western Australian plants are becoming more and more popular in gardens not just in Western Australia but on the East Coast as far down as Tasmania. This is fantastic as there are more than 13,000 native plants in Western Australia alone to choose from meaning that there is a perfect plant for nearly any location in your garden which will thrive and look amazing. Most people in Western Australia will visit Kings Park at least once during the spring wildflower season and enjoy the amazing wildflower show. Many people would like those plants in their gardens however their experience with native WA plants has been one that didn’t lead to success. Allot of people think that flowering time is a good time to plant, however experienced gardeners/professionals will know that you want to get the plants in the ground months before, so they are ready for the winter rains. The nursery industry promotes plants when they are in flower as this is the time of highest sales so this can be a misleading indicator of when might be a good time to plant.

Western Australia is very lucky to have such a long predictable period of low evaporation and high rainfall and native WA plants have evolved to take full advantage of this and are actively growing during this period when many European/exotic are going fully or semi dormant. They put on an amazing show of colour for an extended period that can compliment your summer active/winter dormant species such as lawns, exotics etc.

**Depending on the season an April planting can be good but this season was an irregularity with the 2nd driest May on record with just 17.8mm the record was 14.1 mm in 1964 which is very unusual as April/May had traditionally been a great time to plant with 117mm long term May average(88.7mm since 1994) (Water corp website).

If you investigate the science of rainwater vs tap water, you can see that rainwater has benefits that tap water can simply never deliver. This is water that plants have evolved to receive that is in its purest form. It is water that is just as the plants needs it and is ready to be taken up by the plant. Tap water is full of Chloride and Fluoride and sometimes it has high levels of Calcium and Magnesium depending on where it is sourced from and how it is treated. If the tap water has unbalanced levels of certain elements it can negatively affect plant growth and even effect the uptake of other nutrients making the plant much less efficient at using its natural nutrients in the soil or fertilisers and as a result not look as healthy and grow as well.

And the best part of all of this is that planting now will save you allot of money and effort into the future as the water is free but not only that if the plant can get established and produce a significant root system before the hot summer weather arrives it will need less water then and into the future.