Planting Perennials In Your Established Garden Beds

With the advent of the local plants sales, I thought it might be helpful to offer some tips on how to plant those perennials once you get them home.  Here is what I do when adding a plant to an established bed:

  • Dig a hole about twice the size of the rootball, and about twice as deep.
  • In the bottom of the hole, add a shovelful of gravel.  This helps to improve drainage for the plant in our clay soil common to our area.
  • Add a bit of dirt on top of the gravel.
  • Next, add a good shovelful of compost, homemade preferably but storebought is okay as well.
  • Add a bit of dirt on top of the compost.
  • Now you can take your new plant out of the pot, loosen up the roots a bit with your fingers, and place it in the planting hole.  This is the time to adjust the amount of dirt in the hole so that the roots are covered and the crown of the plant is level with the surrounding ground.
  • I like to add a quart of compost tea at this point, then quickly backfill the hole with soil to create a mud slurry around the plant roots–it helps to lessen transplant shock.  Make compost tea by taking a large plastic container with a lid or a plastic garbage can with a lid, add a bucket or so of compost to it (pick the worms out first!) and then cover it with water, put the lid on and let it sit for a week.  After a week, you can use it.  This step is optional, but it will help your new plants get off to a great start if you can do it.
  • Backfill the hole with the soil you took out.
  • Water the plant thoroughly.

That’s all there is to it!  Have fun planting your new acquisitions, and leave a comment if you wish.

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