Planting Groundwork

Every garden is unique and reflects the special traits and attributes of both the people and the place.  Planting is one of the most rewarding acts of gardening and utilizing the proper planting methods will have a very large impact on the overall productiveness and appearance of the landscape.

Environmental conditions must be proper before any planting takes place in order for the roots to become strong and grow rapidly.  Flowering plants must not be planted until all danger of frost is past - same is true for your summer flowering bulbs.  Spring flowering bulbs however are typically planted in fall before the ground freezes.

Prior to doing any planting it is best to loosen the soil to a 12 inch depth and amend it with a good compost.  A good compost will look like a dark, rich, fluffy soil, will smell good - not like ammonia which means it is not yet complete - and it will not contain any pieces of plastic or other garbage.

The right planting tools are essential for successful planting.  When ready select the best tool by matching the size of the trowel, spade or shovel to the size of the planting holes needed.  Holes should be as deep as the plant's container and 2-3 times as wide allowing for that very crucial root growth.

Be careful when removing your plant from its container...squeeze gently and tap softly on the container in order to remove the plant without damage.  Once the plant is out use your fingers to carefully loosen up the roots so they are not clumped together.  If you find the plant to be root bound with a hard, compact feel (more common in larger perennial pots and potted trees) use a trowel or knife to score the root mass so that you are able to separate the roots as much as possible.  Proceed to put your plant into the freshly dug hole and spread the roots out within, slowly adding in your soil and lightly pressing around the plant so that there is good contact between the soil and roots.  Thoroughly water to settle the soil and moisten the roots.  After several minutes put your finger down into the soil - if it feels dry then more water is required.  Water daily to ensure your plants become well established.

Take care of your plants and they will repay you with a beautiful and rewarding season full of life and colour!

"Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature.  It will never fail you."  William Lloyd Wright