Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Planting Shrubs & Perennials

            I mentioned planting and transplanting trees a few days ago; the same applies to all shrubs and perennials, all but Rhododendrons and Azaleas; that planting ship sailed around September 15.

            The root systems of Rhodos and Azaleas need more time to establish themselves before the winter sets in. The reason being is that they are slower growing and not very extensive. With most plant what you see in size on top is generally what’s under the ground. Not so with them; I almost want to say that their roots are half to even a third the size of what you see above the sod. So let’s hold off planting these until next spring.

            For all the others, plant or transplant away!

            Tips in doing this are the same as planting the trees; Dig them as big as you can to keep as many roots with the plant as possible.
            Elevate the root balls by a quarter or third in a hole that has been dug at least twice the size of the root ball if planting in clay. Sandy soils need the backfill to be more humus in its content for feeding and moisture holding ability.
            In sandy situations the hole size depends on the sandiness of the soil; a beach sand planting needs a bigger hole than in dark sandy topsoil locations.

            Watering from now until the hoses get packed up will vary based on the soil. Clay soils should be checked before dumping more water on them. Do this with a stick pushed down alongside the root ball. If it comes up wet, back off on the watering; if moist, hold off still; if dry, give it a shot.  
            Sandy soils need no checking, they are self draining. Good black dirt soils should be checked, but are not as critical.

            Putting mulch down around the planted newbie’s will hold in some of the moisture and reduce heaving in the spring.

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