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Spring Planting Tips
April 1, 1997

This article was first printed in GardenNotes way back in June of 1993, but the information is still very relevant. Whether you are planting bedding plants, perennials, shrubs, trees or vegetables, these general tips apply.

  • When deciding what to plant, check signs and plant labels for light requirements. This is the most difficult factor to control once the plants are in place.
  • Add organic matter to the soil -- compost, manure or damp peat moss -- to facilitate root development and retain soil moisture and nutrients. Dig the organic matter into the top spade's-depth of soil.
  • Sprinkle your annual flower bed with 8-20-20 granular fertilizer and rake it in before planting. For trees and shrubs, bonemeal can also be added for long-term feeding of new roots.
  • After planting, water with a solution of GARDENWORKS Transplanting Fertilizer. This fertilizer not only has the nutrients needed by roots, it has a rooting hormone that forces roots on your new trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals.
  • Choose a planting day that is cool and overcast if possible, especially with bedding plants in a pack, which must be split up and therefore will have their roots disturbed.
  • If you must plant on a warm day, avoid working between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The plants will suffer less stress if planted when it is cool.
  • Space plants according to the label instructions, or check your favourite gardening book.
  • To remove the plants from thier pots, tip the pots over and slide the plant out. Never tug a herbaceous plant by its stem: it can easily be broken.
  • Plant as soon as possible to ensure good root development before the long, hot days of summer.
  • Lay out a soaker hose in newly planted beds; use mulch well with mushroom manure for flowers and bark or straw for shrubs and trees.

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