Saturday, June 30, 2012

Diggin' it!

Once the garden was ready for planting, we needed only to dig the holes for the plants and plop them in!  We measured where we wanted each plant, so we knew right were they all had to go.  Here's what it all looked like before we planted:








It's was pretty grim, but I kept myself optimistic!  Below are the "after" shots, which I think look considerably better than no garden at all!  We don't have mulch yet, but that's next...

And I'm looking forward to seeing the garden by the end of summer, and certainly by the end of next summer, when it will all be flourishing and the plants will look a little more substantial.  Planting a garden certainly gives new meaning to the phrase "Hurry up, and wait"!


Now, contrary to my depiction of how to plant a garden (ie. plop the plants in) there are a few steps you’re going to want to take in order to not murder help your plants thrive.

- First, when you've selected your plants and get them home, make sure you water them in their pots the day before you intend to plant.  I watered mine when we got home and then again the evening before I planted them.  (I suppose it goes without saying, you don't want to wait too long to get them in the ground.) I made sure the water ran right through the soil and out the bottom of the pot.  Of course, I had help:







- Remove the plants from the containers the minute you want to drop them in the ground. In other words, don't remove the plants from their pots while you dig and leave them sitting in the sun because the roots will dry out.  We planted on a 90 degree day, with full sun (not advisable), which had we left the plants out of their post, could have easily damaged the roots.

- When you take the plant from the pot (gently!), look at the very bottom of the roots. If the roots are densely packed or growing in a circle, gently pull them apart  with your  fingers, so they can spread out once in the ground.

- According to my Mom, the gardening expert, when you dig the hole for each plant, make it the the depth it was in the pot. If you plant them any deeper, the stem of the plant could rot. If you plant them too high the roots could dry out.  But I confess, we had some really tough digging, in rock hard clay. I did plant one shrub too high, about an inch, and I just piled the dirt up to the level I needed. BUT, I swear, I’m gonna watch that particular plant and keep the dirt mounded there.

- Once you fill in your hole around the new plant, don't press down too hard on the plants as you fill in the holes, lightly will do.  Over time, watering will settle them into the ground.

- Water the newly planted garden as soon as it is finished and make sure it gets watered each week, especially if its HOT.  Try not to get the leaves wet in hot sun because they can burn.  Also, it’s important not to get the leaves wet at night because if the water sits on them, they can rot.  SO, my deduction is this, avoid burns and rot altogether, and water only at the roots.  Not having a “soaker hose” I took my regular hose and set it to very low water pressure.  Then I set it at the root area of each shrub for about 5 minutes.  For the smaller plants (perennials) I set it on each for about 3 minutes.

So with the garden essentially finished, this morning, at 7 a.m., with a sore back and coffee in hand, I watered my new garden and had a few barely coherent very intelligent reflections about the garden project/birthday "gift" to share:

Digging a garden makes for a pretty tiring couple of days.  I'm starting to re-think my idea of digging our own patio...  Or maybe not...  After all, Big A is still speaking to me....

I will never again paint my toes before digging a garden, especially because apart from when I was digging the holes, I wore flip flops....

How am I gonna keep the dog out of here ....

Should we have the brown mulch or the reddish looking mulch....

But, my main notion was this  - I'm very excited to see how all of my plants grow and how they'll transform the look of our home