Preparation and planning is key when planting out your garden or containers. Having the correct soil and conditions will determine how well your plant will do.
If you plan on planting into the ground or in a garden, it is best to familiarize yourself with the type of soil you might have, as this will play a big role in determining your plants well being.
- Clay soil – is a dense soil which holds water well but has little to no space for air or air pockets. Because this is the heaviest of the soils, it does not drain well and is not suitable for most plants.
- Sandy soil – is a poor quality soil that does not hold water or nutrients well, making it hard for plants to grow in it. This soil is however good for drainage.
- Silt soil – is finer than sandy soil, and therefore it holds water better. This soil is commonly found around lakes, rivers and dams.
- Loamy soil – is a mixture of all the soil types (clay, sandy, silt), and carries the beneficial properties of them all. It retains moisture and nutrients well and is used as agricultural soil.
Having a poor quality soil should not deter you from planting or using that specific area. Soil conditioners can be added to improve the quality of the soil and make it more suitable for planting. A soil conditioner will buffer the water and nutrient retention, aeration of the soil and balance out the pH of the soil (a pH of 6 is recommended for plants).
EXAMPLES OF SOIL CONDITIONERS:
- Peat moss
- Pine bark woodchip
- Agricultural lime
- Bone meal
PLANTING OUT CONTAINER PLANTS
- Select a suitable area for your plant.
- Dig the hole slightly larger than the size of the pot the plant was in.
- It is recommended that you add fertilizer and/or mycorrhizal fungi to the soil (this will encourage microbes and ensures a healthy soil.
- Remove plant from container, keeping the soil and root system intact, and place into the dug hole.
- Cover the root system with soil, making sure not to compact it, as you want the roots to spread out in its new home.
- layer bulbs, with later flowering varieties at the bottom, and earlier flowering varieties at the top. Layered like a lasagna!
- dig up divots and place bulbs three times their own depth in. You don’t necessarily have to layer the bulbs, so feel free to spread them out evenly as you would prefer.
these normally consist of seedlings.
- handle with care, as these would be a lot more fragile than an established plant.
- water plugs before planting.
- transplant into a small container before planting into a larger container or into the ground, to ensure the plant establishes itself and is healthy.
When planting into a pot, make sure to choose the most suitable pot and the best quality soil for your plants.
Want to know more about the best soil and pot to use? Check out these links!
- Make sure to do planting in the right season and conditions for your plants.
- A raised garden bed helps you keep control of the components in the soil.
- Water-wise gardening ensures plants of similar water needs are planted together.