Planting Small Plants

Planting Depth for Small Plants

Many small plants may have no very clear soil mark. Plant these so that their uppermost roots are just covered with soil. The point at which leaves or stems join the roots is known as the ‘crown* and it is a good general rule to keep this just level with the surface.

Container-grown Plants

When planting from containers some different considerations must be taken into account. The major object of the container is to avoid disturbance of the roots, so the aim should be to get the whole ball of soil out of the container and into its hole as nearly intact as possible. Tins are slit vertically on opposite sides so that they can be opened outwards, and the ball of soil lifted out. Polythene bags and paper pots are cut and stripped olT actually in the hole. Plants in earthenware or plastic pots are removed by being inverted and the edge of the pot rapped on something hard like the handle of a spade. One hand should be held under the pot with fingers spread on each side of the plant to support the ball of soil and roots as it slides out.

In all cases the ball of soil should be left intact, no attempt being made to disen- soil which are replaced firmly when the bulbs have been inserted tangle or spread out the roots. Simply stand the ball in a hole suHicicntly large to contain it with the top of the ball very slightly below the normal surface of the ground. Then replace the soil around it and make thoroughly firm.

Aftercare

Watering

When planting in autumn or winter it is unlikely that any watering will be required. In spring water may be needed if the weather becomes dry, and if planting is done in summer watering will almost certainly be necessary, at least for the first few weeks. In late spring and summer it also helps if the leaves are syringed with water towards evening, and this is particularly useful with evergreens but should not be done if frost threatens.

Feeding

As a rule plants newly moved should not be fed. Wait for a while until they are established and have started to grow again before giving any fertilizer, either in solid or liquid form. This does not mean that manure or decayed vegetable refuse (compost) cannot be used when preparing ground for planting, but they must be well rotted and thoroughly mixed with the soil. A little bonemeal scattered over the surface or mixed with the soil removed from the planting holes also helps, as it is very slow and mild in action and does help to promote root growth.

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