Riparian planting means ‘planting the areas beside waterways’.
Plants that are used along the sides of waterways include flax, cabbage trees, toe toe, hebe, broadleaf, and much more! Farmers use mostly native plants with a mix of non-native plants for long-lasting planting.
These plants and their roots act like sieves, helping to filter out unwanted stuff (known as sediment and bacteria) before it enters the water
Why is riparian planting great for the environment?
Plant roots help to hold the soil together, making the edges of waterways much stronger.
When the plants grow, they provide shade for the stream. This keeps the stream at a good temperature to create the best habitat for native insects, birds, plants, fish and other aquatic life – like my friend Eelaine the Eel!
The shade also means that unwanted weeds struggle to grow on the land, meaning less weed control for the farmer.
Plants soak up nutrients and bacteria through their roots before it enters the water – helping to keep the water cleaner.
New Zealand's native manuka plant is often planted on farms. Bees just like my friend Beetrice love mānuka and use it to make the most delicious honey!
As well as being great for the environment, planting along waterways creates amoozing looking spaces on farms and New Zealand’s beautiful landscapes!
And want to know something cool? My friends at DairyNZ have produced lots of Riparian planting guides for farmers so they can keep learning and planting the waterways on their farms! That’s got to be good for everyone!