Planting season is here again – or will be once our autumn break arrives – and it’s tempting just to launch in to get things in the ground and growing before winter.
Some thought and planning now though will save regrets in coming years. Correct plant choices, placement and spacing will head off issues like obstruction of your views and overcrowding down the track, and more importantly, can give your home a much better chance in a bushfire situation.
The CFA’s Landscaping for Bushfire publication provides useful information on plants to select and garden design to improve your property’s fire safety. The type of plants you choose, their position on the property, and the way you manage them as they grow are key factors that can either increase the risk of damage or protect your home in case of a bushfire – even if you are not there.
The Landscaping for Bushfire document identifies the characteristics of plants that influence flammability, and contains a plant selection key that categorises plants from ‘Not Firewise’ to ‘Firewise’. It also includes ‘model’ gardens for different situations, which explain the importance of plant groupings and placement in relation to open spaces, water and wind breaks.
It does not contain a definitive list of ‘firewise’ plants, as what may be ‘wise’ in one situation may not be in another. It does not preclude planting native plants, as in many cases their placement and management make all the difference to their ‘firewise’ characteristics.
As always, Parklands will be planting native plants in the bush parks of the region. We do this to restore habitat for other native species and retain the biodiversity of our amazing bush. However, we do not just launch in and plant. We plan and plant according to the site and situation, guided by management plans such as the Wodonga Bushfire Management Strategy developed with Council and the CFA in 2015.
We encourage people to consult the CFA guide and include appropriate native plants where possible, as only native plants provide the ecology native species need. Find the Landscaping for Bushfire guide here.