Planting Plants in Your Garden
When purchasing plants to add to your garden, planting instructions should be included with the plant. If not, speak to one of the employees at the nursery to learn how far apart you should space the plants. So far as the depth, simply plant the plant deep enough that your soil just covers the top of the soil the plant is currently in.
If you plant your plant deeper then this, the stem can rot. On the other hand, the roots will dry out if you do not plant it deep enough.
Choosing the Best Time
Keep in mind that the best time to plant plants is on an overcast day that is not very windy, as this is the least stressful condition for plants. Nonetheless, you have to work within your schedule as well.
This may mean planting on a windy day or in the middle of a hot day.
Preparing the Plants for Transplant
Whether the conditions are ideal for planting or not, there are a few steps you can take to make the process easier on your plants. First, water the plants while they are still in their pots on the day before you plan to plant them.
In addition, you should never remove the plant from its pot and let it sit out before planting because this will cause the roots to dry out and become damaged.
Digging the Hole
Of course, you will need to dig a hole to place your plant in. You should dig your hole to be twice as big as the perimeter of the pot the plant is in. This helps ensure the dirt is nice and loose around the plant once you place it in the ground. Then, you will remove the plant from the pot and place it in the hole. After the plant is in place, backfill the hole and gently push the ground down around it so it is in place. Do not push too hard, however, as you can damage the roots or even the stem. Instead, allow the water you will apply later to help push the dirt down into place.
Removing the Plant from the Pot
Removing plants from pots that are not peat pots can be tricky at times. You should never pull on the plant from near its top. Rather, you should first squeeze the flowerpot in order to help loosen the dirt around the roots and make the plant easier to remove. Then, fan your hand over the top of the pot while allowing the stem of the plant to poke through from between your fingers. Turn the pot upside down, and the plant should fall out into your hand. Keep your hand and the plant upside down until you place it upright in the hole you have prepared for it.
If the plant does not come out easily after you have squeezed the outside of the pot, you might need to give it a little extra help. If the pot is large enough, you might use a small hand garden shovel to scrape around the outside of the soil inside the pot. This can help further loosen it and help you remove the plant. If the pot is small, you might need to grab the stem of the plant in the area just above the soil to help pull it out. You should, however, continue squeezing the flowerpot as you do this to help with the process.
Helping a Root Bound Plant
Once the plant is removed, you might notice that your plant is root bound. As plants grow and become bigger, they need to be either placed in the ground or transplanted to a larger pot. Unfortunately, nurseries rarely transplant the plants as necessary. As a result, the growing roots have nowhere to go. This causes them to start to wrap around the soil the plant is planted in.
A root bound plant is easy to identify. First, the dirt will maintain the shape of the flowerpot after the plant has been removed. Second, you will notice roots wrapped around the outside of the dirt. These roots hold the dirt in place, which is why it maintains its shape.
Planting a plant that is root bound is not healthy for the plant. The roots have started a poor growing pattern. In fact, many of them are working their way back up to the top of the dirt. Of course, plants needs their roots to go down into the ground so they can gather nutrients and form a strong hold. Therefore, you need to break this growth pattern before placing the plant in the ground.
In order to fix a root bound plant, you will need a pair of pruning shears or a knife. You then need to cut away all of the roots you see on the outside of the plant. You do not need to cut the roots completely off the plant. Rather, slice through them so they hang down and no longer wrap around the soil. You will know the plant is ready to be placed in the ground when you are able to move the soil around freely and it is no longer taking the shape of the pot.
Plants in Peat Pots
Some plants are sold in peat pots. In this case, you will not need to remove the plant from the pot before planting it. Rather, you should place the entire plant in the ground and the peat pot will help add nutrients to the ground.
Watering Your New Plant
After you place your plant in the ground, whether it was root bound or not, you need to water it thoroughly. Transplanting a plant from a flowerpot can be quite shocking to the plant, particularly if you had to cut away its root bound roots. Watering your plant right away will help it overcome that shock. It will also help it start to form its strong root system.
Most plants should be watered every day for about a week after they have been planted in order to ensure they take root and become properly established in the garden. You should, however, read any directions that may have been included with your plant because some require more watering while others prefer less.