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Regional News Article

Clearing sand dunes
Oct 30, 2008
Author: Edith - Bay of Plenty

My dirty weekends in October (or rather dusty sandy weekends), involved pulling out the introduced South African ice plant which spreads rapidly but also supports and encourages the spread of the ice plant scale which does no damage to the host plant but decimates the New Zealand smaller ice plant. This scale was first discovered in New Zealand about 1986. Having lost my first native ice plant to the invisible green scale I am spraying my six new plants, determined to beat this introduced insect.

The dreaded convolvulus which we used to merrily dump 'out front' is a major nuisance now. Spraying is the only way to be rid of it. Kikuyu grass keeps me busy forking and digging to remove the long strong runners. Gazanias look a picture when in flower but they are not native,do not collect sand and do not thrive after a storm has washed over them. They are easily forked out. I now carry all this waste to the 'wheelie bin'. The hard work is preparing the sand. The exciting fun part is planting the New Zealand native sand dune plants and watching them grow, survive and trap sand in stormy windy conditions. The most successful plantings have been spinifex, Pingao, Sand tussock, Muehlenbeckia, Kokihi and Euphorbia.

This year I have New Zealand sand dune plants growing from the front of our section right out to the waters edge with no weeds at all. It looks fantastic and what our sea shore looked like 150 years ago.I am continuing across to the neighbours dunes as time permits. Every weekend is a fun filled day or just a moment to pull out a weed in this fabulous place.