Growing Smarter Waterways
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Growing Smarter Waterways

Jun 3, 2022 - Category : Careers

The environmental benefits of protecting our waterways is enormous. Beautifying the aesthetics of farms and providing an improved habitat for freshwater species and birdlife is just a handful of the many positives. Adding significant value to your land is a further tick in the box for getting stuck into a waterway planting project.

With government-led pressure for farmers and landowners to fence and plant their waterways, PrimeHort can help with smart solutions and cost effective products. We also encourage farmers to research the various government initiatives and funding available.

Why fence waterways?

Fencing creates a barrier between the land and its waterways. By keeping stock out, rivers and streams are protected from effluent, sediment and nutrient losses. Fencing will also guard new plants from stock.

DairyNZ’s website has excellent tips for fencing around waterways. We note their advice to use an electric fence for maintaining good access to drains. An electric fence can be easily lowered or removed to allow machinery access. For electric fencing and accessories, including standards, gates, energisers and more – we can help.

Boost your income through plants!

Along with the eco benefits of planting waterways, have you considered it as a business opportunity?

We’re often chatting with farmers who successfully grow and sell their own native plants (utilising free on-farm resources such as irrigation). The exercise can be rewarding for their own projects and a good initiative for extra revenue. Eco-sourced, locally grown plants are viewed favourably by all stakeholders – from government level to the end consumer.

Farmer and nurseryman Adam Thompson from Cambridge, is an excellent case study of a thriving business established from growing manuka, flaxes, grasses etc. on his own land. Adam soon ramped up his operation to meet strong farmer demand for plants to retire areas of land into native bush, along with riparian projects. Watch his success story here.

If this interests you, we can talk to you about a start-up nursery. PrimeHort have many options to suit differing budget levels and/or ambition. From greenhouse kitsets, pump and irrigation solutions, along with a full suite of pots and trays to suit the grade you’re growing.

From a germinated seedling to a plant that’s ready to plant out in the field, the process is fairly quick at about 8-12 months. That’s not very long to wait for an exciting new revenue stream!

If employing manual labour is a deterrent, or you’re simply ready to take the next step in your nursery business, we can chat about nursery solutions to automate the entire process. From seed sowing to transplanters – a machine to boost productivity will be a gamechanger.

Tips for planting waterways.

  • Firstly, research council-led grants to support waterway planting projects in your area. Kaipara landowners, check out: Kaipara Moana Remediation
  • Best-practice riparian planting starts with a good base that is free of grass and weeds. About 4-6 weeks before planting, spray with a glyphosate-based herbicide at the planting site. We have an excellent range of herbicides and highly recommend Glyphosate Green.
  • When ready to plant, set yourself up to make the experience more comfortable. A quality spade, gloves and protective clothing will all help, and we have good stock available. Our best-selling spade is the Contractor 2.5mm All Steel. The old adage, “$10 hole for a $1 tree” is so true! The hole must be big enough for plant roots to have adequate space.
  • To keep the soil moist, reduce weeds and help provide nutrients, we suggest our weedmat – mulchmat, wool matting or coco fibre
  • Once in the ground, our bamboo stakes allow plants to be easily identified when weeding.
  • A tree guard (plant sleeve) can promote early growth because they suppress weeds, create warmth around the plant, protect it from rabbits and shield it from spray. Our eco tree guards made of cardboard are very popular.
  • Our advice would not be complete without mentioning fertilisers and pest control. PrimeHort’s SmartGro Fertiliser Tablets provide the best-value on the market and are effective for up to 2 years. For pest control, Pindone have some great repellents.


To make a positive change to your land and waterways – get in touch!
We would love to help with expert advice.

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