There is a new beginning for gardeners whenever spring arrives. It’s once again time to work on the garden. Many garden enthusiasts like to keep the appearance of their garden fresh and new each year. So they often take a trip to the local garden center to discover new plants that can be added that will give their garden a little different look than it had last year.
The result of these trips is a passionate gardener returning home with one or more plants in pots destined for a transplant.
The experienced gardener probably already knows how to go about transplanting the new plants from pot to garden. However, neophyte and novice gardeners may not have that knowledge because they are new to the process.
For those of you who fall into this category, here are some tips on how to make the pot to garden transition a successful one.
After you return from your shopping spree from the garden center store put the new plants in an area where there is no direct sunlight, but still bright light or in a partially shaded location and water them well until you are ready to perform the transplant.
Expert gardeners suggest that the pot to garden process be performed in the late fall or early spring and in the late afternoon or evening. You can do the work in the morning if you have to, but do it early before the sun can generate too much heat in the air. If you have a little luck, the day you choose to do the task will be cloudy and will be followed by several more cloudy or rainy days.
Gather your tools and materials. You will need:
· Plant in pot.
· Hose attached to outdoor faucet or a large bucket
· Organic matter like compost, leaf mold, well rotted manure or peat moss.
· Sharp knife
Take some time to select the site for the plant. Keep in mind that some species of plants do better in the shade than in the sunlight and are also affected by wind and soil. Select a location based on the condition in which your new plant will thrive.
Checking the soil of the location you have selected would be a good idea. Plants in general do not do well in soggy soil. There should be good drainage so that the roots won’t rot and other problems are minimized or avoided.
You don’t have to rely strictly on sight to determine if the soil drains adequately. There is a test you can perform to assure yourself that it does. Dig a 12-inch deep and 12-inch wide hole and fill it with water. Wait overnight to allow the water to drain and fill the hole with water again the next day. Return to the site after an hour and measure the depth of the remaining water. If it is less than 2 inches, then choose a different site, construct a raised bed or dig a 2-inch to 3-inch layer of compost into the area.
Water the plant until the water is running out of the bottom of the pot. Turn the pot over and tap the sides and rim gently with the trowel to loosen the plant. It ultimately should slide out. If it doesn’t, check to see if the roots are not emerging from the bottom of the pot. If that’s the case, cut the roots off and try loosening the soil again.
After the plant slips into your hand, grab hold by the roots and check their condition. If the roots appear to be circling around the plant, then you are observing root-bound. Use your fingers to loosen the roots and use a sharp knife to cut 1-inch to 2-inches into four sides, top and bottom of the root ball.
Dig a hole that is 3 to 4 times larger around than the pot and at least 1-1/2 times deeper than the pot. Slope the sides of the hole so that the top is wider than the bottom. You can put the compost, leaf mold, well-rotted manure, or peat moss in to the hole. Mix the matter back in the hole to form a base on which you can place the plant.
Put the plant into the hole, and then fill the hole half full of water. This makes certain that the roots are properly drenched and no air pockets can form in the soil near the roots. Fill the hole with soil forming a ring around the plant. This will result in a small trench around the plant that you can fill with water everyday until the plant is established. Pour more water on the plant.
You can shade the plant for a few days with a board or cardboard. Set it up on the sunny side of the plant.
Check the plant every day and be sure that it gets enough water. That might mean that you will have to water the plant daily. If the weather is hot, you may have to do it twice a day.