Gardening in November

Starke Ayres is celebrating 140 years of service and product excellence and has been through a few droughts. Here’s some advice to help you get through this one.

• The best advice for our gardeners in these times is to plant waterwise plants and using water retention products to help prolong the periods between watering. Stockosorb is a soil conditioner specifically designed and developed for water and nutrient retention and release in substrates and soils.

• Look out on your next visit to our garden centres for our drought tolerant plant options. Succulents are the obvious choice, but there are many more options such as Aloes, Crassulas, Euphorbias, Cotyledons and vygies. Plants with grey and silver –blue foliage, hairy or needle like leaves and succulent leaves are easily identified and are great options for a waterwise drought tolerant garden.

• Do not remove successful plants. Prune large shrubs, reducing the size of the plant. Treat existing plants with Flostim to reduce abiotic stress caused by heat, drought and salinity, by increasing moisture retention inside the plant.

• Mulch all planted areas with a 5 to 10cm thick layer of mulch. This dramatically reduces water loss from the soil surface and keeps it cool. Organic mulches such as chipped wood is best, as they feed the soil and your plants. Improve the water penetration with Penetrate, which improves water infiltration. This product promotes deep uniform root zone hydration in gardens, lawn and pot plants.

• Provide your own water security by installing a Starke Ayres municipal food grade 1000 L water tank. We provide installation options or you can arrange your own. Attach a leaf catcher and first flush system to ensure the cleanest water enters your tank.

• If you do have a borehole or well-point, water deeply and infrequently. Mimic a good rainfall event of say 50mm and really saturate an area, with water penetrating at least 50-60cm into the soil. You may only need to do this every 3 to 4 weeks. Improve the water holding capacity and water penetration of the soil by adding Golddust. It prevents water run off and erosion, reduces excess salinity in coastal soils assists in absorbing more nutrients.

• Feed your garden with Atlantic Bio Ocean fertiliser. Packed full of goodness. The key ingredient seaweed, contains a range of naturally occurring minerals and growth stimulants which help maximise plant growth. It is also known for its ability to retain moisture and increase the moisture level of the plant’s cell sap – in turn increasing the plant’s ability to resist and heat stress. Bio Ocean will retain up to 120% of its own weight in moisture – significantly increasing the soil’s ability to hold onto water.


Starke Ayres, West Coast Village
Tel: 021 554 8450