Monday, July 11, 2016

Plant Perennials Now

Summer is great time to plant perennials. Whether it's filling in an empty spot in the garden, moving a plant from one location to another or maybe you just moved into a new home and want to get your landscape started, or you've got the week off and want to work in the garden. The simple answer is yes, you can plant perennials this time of year.  Your plants will survive and thrive if you keep these things in mind. Do your actual planting during the coolest part of the day. Early morning is usually best, though late afternoon into early evening will work, if it's cloudy. Do the hard work in advance. Get the planting spot ready by digging the hole as deep and twice as wide as the container your plant is in.
Improve the planting site by adding  organic material such as Sheep, Peat and Compost, peat moss, compost or coconut coir  to the hole and to the dirt you just dug out. Mix the organic material 50:50 with the existing soil or roughly half. This is called "amending the soil" and  products such as compost, peat moss, coconut coir, aged manures are called "soil amendments". Adding amendments will make our typical clay soils more useable to the plant. Amendments allow the clay soil to drain better and frees up nutrients in the soil. Once the hole is dug and amended, fill it with water and let the water drain. Do this twice, before you plant. This will ensure the soil around the plant's root ball is wet. If you want to add some Root Stimulator, now is the time to do so. Water your plants thoroughly before planting or transplanting them.
Now that the ground is ready take your plant out of its container and take a look at the root ball. If it is really tight, break it up a little before you plant it. Place the plant in the center of the hole and fill in the hole with the amended soil. If you're transplanting an existing plant, dig as large a root ball as possible.
Use a garden fork (digging fork), not a shovel to dig the old plant up. The digging fork is less likely to damage the plant's roots. Use burlap or an old nursery pot to transport the plant to its new location. Once you're done planting or transplanting and you've filled in the hole, water thoroughly. Heat and drying winds will be the biggest challenge to anything you plant or transplant now.  Check your plants in the morning and evening to make sure they're well hydrated.
A moisture meter is a handy tool to have at this point. You can easily check the moisture level at different depths and add water accordingly.
Another trick is to set up some temporary shade in the form of cloth Seed Guard or burlap to shade the plant while it gets established.  Good soil preparation and keeping an eye on the watering will ensure your new summer plantings will take off quickly.

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