Q: How should I prepare for planting this spring?

A: Once you have purchased new plants for your home garden, you need to find the perfect place to plant. Research plants on the internet to determine where they will flourish. Does the plant need sun or shade; well-drained or moist soil; how big is the mature size; is it a shrub or a vine; or an annual or perennial? Success in your garden happens when you find the best location for your plants.

After the site is selected, pull back mulch and dig a hole bigger than the pot. Break up the existing soil in the hole and have compost and fertilizer close by. Mix compost with the removed soil. Add organic fertilizer per the product recommendations. Gently remove the plant from the pot. Don’t pull on the plant stem, you can break roots. Whenever possible, tip the pot and tap out the plant while holding it with the other hand. If the roots are overgrown, gently separate them. Place the plant in the hole, so that the top of the pot soil is a little higher that the surrounding soil level. All plants will settle over time in our soils, so planting slightly higher than grade works well. Also consider from which side you will view the plant, and turn it, so the prettiest side is forward. Fill the hole with the amended soil around the plant root ball and firm gently. Add mulch to hold moisture and prevent weeds. No mulch should be against any plant parts, including tree trunks. Now, water well and the plant is off to a good start. Most plants need supplemental water as they establish, then additionally if there are dry spells during the summer.

This is a great outdoor activity for all the family to enjoy.

Suzzanne Chapman
Author: Suzzanne ChapmanEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Suzzanne Chapman is the botanical collections curator at Mercer Botanic Gardens and promotes organic gardening, growing native plants, and protecting the environment. Send your questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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