The best bit about Easter has to be the opportunity to spend a good amount of time in the garden – and with Easter being later this year one of the most exciting things we have planned is a shopping trip to our local garden centre for some plants.
In our garden, we sometimes end up with a plant that could do better in another spot. It’s better to get them in the right place to start with than moving plants later. This is all about factors such as light and shade, and moist or well-drained soil, and when buying plants, you’ll normally find these details on the label. Also check to ensure there are no thick roots circling around a container grown plant – unless you know how to deal with these it may be better to choose a different plant. A few roots protruding from the bottom of the pot are a sure sign the plant is ready to be transplanted into a bigger space but cut them cleanly if you break them when you remove the pot.
Before digging a hole, consider how large your plant will grow and check the hole depth by placing the plant in its pot to check the soil will finish at the same level the plant was growing before. Loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole with a fork so the roots will find their way quickly and stabilise the plant.
To give plants an added boost, we use ecofective® Rootplus 3 in 1, sprinkling 3 scoops into the new hole, making sure that the roots will be touching the feed, and water it in well. The 3 aspects which make Rootplus so effective are mycorrhizal fungi and beneficial bacteria which help promote strong development of the root systems; a water retainer meaning a reduced need for watering; and a fertiliser to help better establishment.
Getting the watering right is vital. If you’re planting into heavy clay, as our garden is, don’t be tempted to add a water retaining compost to the planting hole otherwise water can become trapped and the roots of the plant can suffocate. You may need to water more frequently especially during warm weather while your plant gets established because if it dries out the leaves will scorch.
Some nursery bought plants are raised in a heated greenhouse and will benefit from being allowed to acclimatise to your cooler garden and build up strength against the force of the wind. It’s a good idea to place them in a sheltered spot for a while prior to planting them out.
In our greenhouse, we’ve sown lettuce seeds in short rows and sprinkled a little Rootplus along the drill, to help them on their way. Unlike some products – hoof and horn springs to mind – Rootplus is vegetarian and vegan friendly.