Rural Missouri - June 2013 - (Page 30)
When the temperature soars, you still can add plants to your gardens
such as compost, shredded leaves, nut
hulls or bark dust — immediately after
planting. This will help conserve soil
moisture and keep down weeds that
compete for water and nutrients.
For the ﬁrst time or two, water new
plantings with a dilute solution of fertilizer such as ﬁsh emulsion or liquid
seaweed. This will help your plants
quickly settle into their new environment. During the ﬁrst week or so, you
may need to water daily or every other
day depending on the weather, soil
type and the plant’s growing requirements. After that, it’s important to
keep the soil slightly moist until the
plant becomes established in the garden. For most perennials and shrubs,
that usually occurs after the ﬁrst growing season.
It only takes a little extra attention
and a few simple techniques to help
new summer plantings thrive. So go
ahead and take advantage of summer
plant sales and ﬁll in those empty
spaces in your yard. The result can be
by Kris Wetherbee
here are times when breaking the rules is a good thing,
such as the long-held belief
that planting in the heat of
summer is a no-no. The rule of thumb
always has been to plant in spring and
fall when the weather is cooler. But a
rising temperature doesn’t mean you
can’t continue to ﬁll the empty spaces
in your garden with plants.
Sure, there are some things you
shouldn’t plant in summer, such as a
bare-root, newly dug or newly divided
plant. When you dig up all or part of
a plant that already has established its
roots in the ground, you ultimately
will destroy some of the roots. Such a
plant also is actively growing and full
with foliage. When you replant it in
its new location during summer’s heat,
the shock can be fatal.
You can successfully plant new
perennials, annuals and shrubs in the
heat of summer as long as the plant
has spent the past few months in a
container. Any shock from transplanting essentially is eliminated since you
didn’t actually dig up the plant. Summer conditions still may cause new
plantings some stress, but it’s nothing
that the following planting techniques
and summertime tips can’t overcome.
Finding the Right Spot
One of the great things about planting
in summer is that most plants are in
their full ﬂush of growth. This allows
you to better visualize the total effect
on your landscaping because you can
actually see the plant’s form along
with the color of its foliage or ﬂowers.
The added dimensional aspect also
helps in knowing where to place the
plant in your garden.
Yet there is more than a plant’s
good looks and your personal preference to consider when placing your
plant. Anytime a plant goes in the
ground, you should match the plant’s
growth habits to the garden site. This
is true in any season, but especially so
during the summer when rising temperatures, bright sunlight and drying
winds can be at their most extreme.
A plant that prefers part shade but
tolerates full sun has a better chance
of surviving in full sun if it’s planted
in spring rather than summer. That
way, the roots have enough time to
take hold in the ground before the
heat of summer erupts.
When planted in full sun on a hot
summer day, the plant may wilt before
Kris Wetherbee is a freelance writer
and author from Oregon who specializes
in the areas of gardening, food and outdoor living. For more tips on gardening,
visit her website, www.kriswetherbee.com.
photos by Rick Wetherbee
One of the advantages of planting during the summer is that most plants are in their
full ﬂush of growth. This allows you to see the plant’s form, along with the color of its
foliage or ﬂowers, and better visualize the total effect on your landscape.
it has a chance to situate its roots. In
this case, you still can plant successfully during the summer by giving the
plant what it prefers — a partly shaded
If you’re set on putting the plant in
a sunny location, another option is to
temporarily shade the new planting
for the ﬁrst week or so using a lightcolored umbrella, shade cloth or other
structure that provides some protection from the sun.
When it comes to actually putting
your plant in the ground, a little
preparation can go a long way in
determining whether it thrives or fails.
For starters, when you plant can be
just as important as how you plant. It’s
best to plant on a cloudy day or in the
cooler temperatures of late evening.
This will minimize weather-related
plant stress and transpiration loss from
the plant’s leaves.
Basic planting steps apply regardless
of the season:
• Dig a hole a little deeper and about
twice as wide as the plant’s root ball.
• Gently work the root ball loose
with your hands or a garden fork.
• Move the plant into position and
backﬁll with good soil mixed with a
• Tamp the soil to stabilize the
plant and remove any air pockets.
• Water thoroughly.
Here’s another summer-sizzler step:
Fill the newly dug hole with water and
let it drain before planting — especially when dealing with clay soil. This
helps ensure an easier transition for
the plant since the hole and surrounding soil are thoroughly moist.
After the Fact
Give your plants an advantage over
summer heat by applying a 2- to
3-inch-thick layer of organic mulch —
It’s best to plant on a cloudy day or in
the cooler temperatures of late evening.
Dig a hole a little deeper and about
twice as wide as the plant’s root ball;
gently work the root ball loose with
your hands or a garden fork; move the
plant into position and backﬁll with
good soil mixed with a little compost;
tamp the soil to stabilize the plant and
remove any air pockets; and then water
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - June 2013
Rural Missouri - June 2013
Table of Contents
Back to the land
Full steam ahead
Out of the Way Eats
Where shall I thee wed?
Missouri Snapshots contest
Hearth and Home
Missouri’s forgotten war
Plant during summer’s sizzle
Rural Missouri - June 2013