Preparing for Planting
When planting, make sure that the top of the compost in the pot is level with the surrounding soil surface. Take a little time to plant carefully so that your plants settle snugly in to their new home.
Choose a suitable place for the plant in your garden; be very aware of the plant’s own preferences to wind, sunlight and soil conditions.
Here’s what to do:
- Dig a hole that’s slightly bigger than the size of the pot that it’s growing in, not exactly earth shattering logic!
- Use a garden fork to loosen the base of the hole, mixing in a couple of handfuls of compost. This again is fairly obvious but by breaking up the base of the hole, it will allow the plant to root out a little easier. You can at this point, if you’re really keen, mix in a little bonemeal (nitrogen fertilizer).
- Soak the roots of the plant in a bucket of water before planting. Invert the pot, holding the plant in one hand and the base of the pot in the other to knock it out.
- Place the plant in the hole, making sure that the top of the compost is at the same level as the surrounding soil. It’s not the end of the world if it’s a little proud, but it is important that the top of the compost is not below the surrounding level. This will cause surface water to drain into the planting hole.
- Back fill around the rootball of the plant using the excavated soil and compost mix. Firm it in layers as you fill the hole so that there are no air pockets left in the soil.
- Give the plant a good drink.
It is really important now to continue watering the plant regularly until the plant is well established, especially during dry periods. It does take significant time for the plant’s root system to establish in the ground and become self-sufficient at finding its own water.