Planting can be carried out once there is adequate soil moisture. In South Gippsland, autumn plantings can be very successful, allowing plants to establish in warm soil as soon as the autumn break has arrived and soil moisture is adequate. The plants have time to recover from transplant shock over the winter and are ready to go once spring warmth arrives - getting growing before the dryness of summer.
Ensure your tubestock is well watered before planting. Have your tools and helpers ready to go. If using forestry tubes; sort them into a 'planting mix' in the tube racks. A couple of tall trees, some medium trees and lots of understory in each tray of fifty. Keep each EVC separate, for instance waterway plants in a separate mix from forest plants. Hiko plants can be sorted into buckets or planter belts.
Tubestock; hiko plants can be planted into riplines using a potiputki. A Hamilton tree planter is more useful into undisturbed ground. You can also use a shovel or a mattock, Remember to plant seedlings deep enough, make sure the root ball is well covered. Watering in can be done if it is easy to get water to the site, and there are lots of helpers.
Guard plants immediately after planting if you are using guards. In some areas heavy duty mesh guards are absolutely essential to protect from wildlife and vermin. If there are kangaroos, wallabies and deer in your area, do not leave plants unguarded over night. Get extra help if needed,or do a small amount of planting and guarding at one time. Tall plastic buckets are useful for carrying guards and stakes. Ensure stakes are well driven in. Small plastic guards are useful against strong winds, but often guards are unnecessary.
There are two sorts of direct seeding. Broadacre, where a large area has been prepared by ploughing, ripping or scalping and spot seeding, where a small quantity of seed is introduced into a mattock scrape or just bare ground.
Look at the video demonstrating broadacre seed spreading. The seed mixes are divided into tree and understory, and both are bulked up with wood shavings, sand, pollard or the like. The understory mix is widely scattered and the trees introduced into discrete about 5 metre apart 'blobs'. The best people to give advice about direct seeding are the South Gippsland Seed Bank, and their details are given below.
'Spot' seeding can be done by using clay balls - see method in the file button below. Another method is to pre germinate the seed in potting mix a few days before hand, and then scatter this seed mix onto mattock or hoe scrapes. This works well on steep slopes or into existing vegetation that requires infilling. Again, the best people to consult about this are the seed bank.
The South Gippsland Seed Bank (SGSB) is a non-profit community organisation that has been supplying the region with indigenous seed since 1994.
The Seed Bank’s charter is to supply local provenance seed from a wide variety of sites for revegetation purposes. They aim to enhance the knowledge base of the local community about seed collection, plant identification, seed germination and storage, through site visits to the Seed Bank and presentations to local schools and community groups. All seed is ethically collected then cleaned, batched and stored ready for sale. Customers include plant nurseries, organisations involved in large revegetation projects, and private landholders. Seed can be purchased as individual species or custom made direct seeding mixes. The list of seeds stocked by the seed bank can be found on their Seed Products page. The Seed Bank has a purpose built Rippa Seeder available for hire to assist with direct seeding projects. More information can be found on their Direct Seeding page.