Plant Talk: Making Sure Your Late Planting is Successful

More Plant Talk

When you plant at this point of the season, plants are quick to dry out.

But in this week’s Plant Talk, we show you just how to get those roots the extra water they need, without extra work for you.

One of the benefits of planting during the summer is we have container-grown nursery stock now, almost exclusively. The challenge is, how do we get this rootball to establish within the soil without drying it out?

Now when I’m planting out a bed I like to do a lot of contouring. And it does create that problem of where does the water go when you water? So what I’ve done, I create little water wells, so when I water the plant it’s all going to get trapped and forced to soak down on that rootball.

So what we’re after, we want that water to pool and percolate down to keep the rootball wet. If we’ve got a slope, and we don’t have that, all the water is going to tend to runoff right off the top. And that rootball is going to dry out, the plant will wilt, and it’s not necessarily going to die but it’s not going to look great.

Now if I’m working on a really hot day, I’ll actually take a five-gallon pail, or even a bigger bucket if I’m using trees, and I’ll submerge my plant. You can hear the bubbles. It’s clearing out that air space. What this will do is buy you time as you’re planting. You don’t have to worry about you plant drying out.

Now once we start putting the mulch down, you won’t even notice those burms that you built to hold the water. And over time, underneath that mulch, they’re just going to disappear. That soil will just kind of erode away under the mulch. You’ll end up with a little more of an even (look). Even though what I’m after, I’m after a little bit of that contouring. That’s what I like about my landscapes. Thanks for watching Plant Talk, we’ll see you again next time.

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