Garden Planting Guide

Garden Planting – Biennials

It is essential for biennials to be planted out in their flowering positions by mid autumn — whether from a nursery bed, greenhouse or cold frame — otherwise they may not have a chance to establish themselves before the onset of severe weather.

Before planting, dig over the soil and work in a light dressing of well-rotted manure or garden compost, together with a generous handful of bonemeal or a small handful of superphosphate for each sq m/yd.

Lift the biennials from their nursery bed, easing them out with a hand fork, with as many roots attached as possible. If the soil is very dry, water it first to ease lifting and lessen damage to the roots.

garden planting After lifting, put them into their permanent positions as soon as possible, before their roots can dry out. Wallflowers, however, tolerate being left unplanted for a day or two — they are often sold bare-rooted, wrapped in newspaper. Firm in the plants and water well.

In cold areas, plants put out in exposed positions may need winter protection — lay light evergreen branches or straw around them.

To replace plants lost through winter cold, it is wise to retain a few plants in the first bed. In spring they can be used to fill in any gaps caused by plants dying.

 

Garden Planting – Perennials

For small perennial plants, dig the hole with a hand trowel. Use a spade to dig holes for larger plants. Make the hole deep and wide enough to take the spread-out roots. Try not to step on the planting area — work off a plank if the site is large.

Hold the plant upright and set it in the centre of the hole, spread out the roots, and replace the soil between and over the roots until the hole is filled. Prostrate perennials can be inserted in clumps of three or four to give rapid and more even ground cover.

When planting container-grown perennials, make the hole large enough for the root ball to sit level with or slightly lower than the surrounding soil. If roots are coiled around the ball, gently ease away the largest ones and spread them out in the hole.

After planting, firm the soil well around the roots so that no pockets of air are trapped — use your fingers if the soil is moist or lumpy. Loose plants won’t be able to take up water or nutrients from the surrounding soil fast enough and may wither or die.

On soil that is loose or dry, firm in plants with your foot, or ‘puddle’ in using an open-spouted watering can. Label all plants, especially when planted in autumn — they may be almost invisible until the spring.

 

Garden Planting – Annuals

It is easier to separate plants if the whole mass of soil and roots is first removed. Having loosened the roots by bumping the tray on the ground, hold the tray at an angle and ease the entire plant mass out.

Separate the plants by slicing through the root mass with the edge of a hand trowel or with a knife. Or, ease the plants apart with your fingers, but do not break away too much soil from around the roots.

After laying the plants in position to get a balanced layout, dig holes sufficiently deep for the roots and set the plants in place. Ease soil around the roots until filled in.

Instead of firming in by hand, plants can be settled in by ‘puddling’ with an open-spouted watering can — wash soil from the sides of the holes on to the roots and leave to drain.

 

Garden Planting – Bulbs In Groups

Place the bulbs, growing point uppermost, over the planting area, spacing them at regular intervals.

Using a narrow trowel, dig a hole twice the depth of the bulb (or use a bulb planter or dibber). Put the bulb in firmly — don’t trap air beneath it.

Cover the bulb with soil and firm it down with your foot. Water the area thoroughly after planting to encourage immediate growth.

 

Marking Out the Site

If your plan has a regular design, use a board to mark out the planting positions, setting plants inside the squares or at intersections.

For less regular designs, mark the planting areas with a cane or stick, varying their size and shape.

21. November 2010 by admin
Categories: Annuals, Bulbs and Corms, Perennials, Plants | Tags: | Comments Off on Garden Planting Guide

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