Rural Missouri - June 2013 - (Page 30)

Plant during summer’s sizzle When the temperature soars, you still can add plants to your gardens T 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 amazingly beautiful. by Kris Wetherbee info@ruralmissouri.coop 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 30 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 location. 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. Planting Particulars 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 little compost. • 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 — WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP 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 thoroughly. http://www.kriswetherbee.com http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - June 2013

Rural Missouri - June 2013
Table of Contents
Comments
Columns
Back to the land
Full steam ahead
Outdoors
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
Around Missouri
Marketplace
Neighbors
Just4Kids

Rural Missouri - June 2013

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