How to Plant Container Grown Plants and Flowers
Whether your starting a new garden or just adding to an existing garden you will undoubtedly head to a local garden center to buy new plants like annuals and perennials Some of these plants will have only know life inside of a green house and will need to be acclimated to their new outdoor lifestyle.
When bringing you new additions to the family home you will need to watch out for how fast they are introduced to unfiltered sunlight. Bringing a plant grown in a greenhouse out doors and in to direct sunlight can leave them sunburned.
Preventing Plant Sunburn
In order to reduce the risk of sunburn place your plants in area with filtered sun. Slowly over a few days move them further and further out in to the sun. This suggestion should be modified for plants that are not meant to be planted in full sun situations. If you have the opportunity to plant on a cloudy afternoon that would be ideal, the plants will have missed the high heat of the day and the temperatures should be working their way down.
Garden Layout | Plan Your Garden Before You Dig
Before you install your new plants you should take a dry run to make sure you place them well. Bring all your new plants over to the garden you plan to plant them in and begin setting them on top of the ground where you think they will look best. Take a step back and see how this lay out looks, if you will see the garden most often from your patio go there and see how it looks make sure to look at the layout from multiple angles. Things to consider before you choose a final layout include the mature height of the plant, the growth habits and color. Once you have found a layout that you like for the plant you will begin the planting process.
How To Plant
There’s an old saying among gardeners and landscapers, “you dig a $100 hole for a $20 plant.” Digging the right hole for a plant is important. Your holes should be at least twice as wide and one and half times as deep, but you would be better with a hole that is three times as wide and twice as deep. Digging a hole to these dimensions allows us more access to the soil that will be surrounding the plant. With this access we’ve aerated the soil and broken it up in to smaller pieces, we also have the opportunity to amend the soil if we need to.
Adding Compost And Organic Material in Soils
For these quantities I’m going to assume you are installing a plant that came in a 1 gallon container. In your pile of topsoil add 1/3 gallon of compost, 1/3 gallon of peat-moss and 1 cup of all-purpose 10-10-10 fertilizer. Once you have all the ingredients take a shovel and begin to mix all the ingredients. After the soil is thoroughly mixed add enough soil back into the hole so that when the plant is place in side the top of the root ball will sit just above ground level.
Removing Plants From Their Containers
Before we get into any complicated technique gently attempt to pull the plant out of the container, if it seems stuck don’t force it. If the plant is stuck pick up your plant and turn you plant upside down, where the plant stalk comes out of the soil place your hand on the soil with the stalk between your thumb and pointer finger. Gently take your other hand and tape around the edge until the container loosens up and you can easily pull it off. You always want to try to keep soil intact when you’re removing a plant from the container.
When you remove the plant from the pot you may notice the roots have become root bound. Roots that are bound have run out of room in the pot and begun to become tangled. In order to help these roots grow out into your garden you will need to pull the roots away. Make a little claw with your hand and your fingers back and forth against the root ball, this should loosen up the soil and the bound roots. If there are larger roots that have become bound you may need to make several vertical cuts through the roots, as well as cuts in an X along the bottom. Make sure when you cut that you keep the blade from going to far into the root ball. You will want to use a sharp clean blade when cutting the roots.
Once you have the plant removed from its container take a look at the plant and see if there is a more appealing side you should face towards the front of the garden. Next place the plant inside of your hole and begin to back fill with your amended top soil. When you’ve place about half of the topsoil back into the hole take a garden hose and water in the soil a bit. You want to compact the soil slightly so your plant will be anchored in to the ground and not tip over. Fill the hole the rest of the way and repeat with the previous water step.
Add a natural mulch to the ground around your plant. A layer of mulch will give nutrients over a long period as it breaks down and will also store water that the plant will have access to long after it rains. If your planting a taller plant like a tree or large bush you may want to drive one to three stakes in to the ground around it and attach it with aluminum wire. Using a clear vinyl tubing where the wire wraps around the tree will prevent the wire from cutting into the bark.
Once your all your plants are in the ground the first week will be the critical time to watch them. If they are unhappy and begin to die you will know within days. If you are in a period without rain when you normal receive it regularly be sure to water 20 minutes each day for the first week
Finally remember to make sure you enjoy all your hard work!