Planting – the ultimate guide with 6 easy steps
Timing: Ultimately the best time to plant is when the soil is warm or starting to warm and is moist as this encourages growth, but planting can be undertaken throughout most of the year. It is always good to keep in mind that in winter, plants will not grow much as many go into hibernation and planting on extremely hot days can cause excessive stress to the plant from sun to the roots.
Once you have chosen your plants; not only those that look great but will also be suited to your area and garden layout, it is time to start planting. Be sure to dig the hole deep and wide enough to allow your plant to comfortably fill the hole, however, ensure that the crown of the plant is not below the soil level, otherwise you can suffocate or drown the plant when you backfill causing rot and decay.
When moving the plant from its existing spot, pot or container, do not leave the plants roots exposed to the sun or better yet keep the entire plant in the shade until ready to transfer into the new area.
Check the preferred soil type of your plant. Does the plant require well drained, sandy, moist soil etc., and ensure the plant has soft quality soil directly below where you intend to plant (ie. not rock or concrete directly below) so the roots can easily spread. Most plants like a well-draining loam type soil that is soft allowing for easy root penetration where the roots do not stay wet and drown. Teasing out the roots after you have removed the plant from the pot or container is optional and can be beneficial if pot bound, but not essential in all cases.
When planting be sure to face the front of the plants (yes plants have sides too) towards the best aspect you want showcase as they look best with the leaves or stem facing to the front (not the vain side) and be sure to back fill the hole with good quality potting mix. Note for clay-based soils, you can add Gypsum to break up the clay. Firmly press down around the edges of the new plants root base to remove any potential air pockets around the new plant and the existing soil as exposing roots to air can often lead to damage or death of the plant. Be careful though not to compact the soil too much around the crown or base of the plant as this can also cause damage.
Once planted and you are happy with the position, you must give the plants a good watering to minimise stress and to promote new growth helping the plants to adapt to the new environment – this is a must and whilst does not have to be done straight away if planting multiple plants, the soon the better. Be sure to keep up the watering; we recommend every second or third day for the first two weeks to help establishment. Keep an eye on the weather, as more frequent watering will be required in hot weather.