Here’s a few tips from old-hands…
DON’T plant in hard, unprepared ground. The poor plant can’t grow if its roots can’t penetrate out into the surrounding soil!
DON’T use a post-hole digger (see above). Post-hole diggers are for fence posts, and you don’t expect your fence post to grow, do you?
DON’T tease out the roots of the plant when you plant it. Hey, the poor plant needs those roots to absorb water. No wonder it wilts and dies of thirst no matter how hard you water it!
DON’T press too hard when you backfill around the root-ball. You just spent all that time and energy digging up the ground to make nice loose soil, so don’t undo all your hard work!
DON’T forget to water each plant when you plant. No, you don’t get to sit in the shade and down a cold beer until the plants have each had a good bucket-full (of water, that is).
DON’T fertilise when you plant. Chucking a handful of fertiliser into the bottom of the hole is the equivalent to swallowing the whole bottle of medicine. Pretty easy to over-do it. It’s not called ‘overkill’ for nothing!
DON’T allow grass or weeds to grow around your plants. When it comes to war between plants and weeds, you know which one wins every time!
So, the DO’s are now pretty obvious ….
Dig up your soil thoroughly (don’t skimp on soil preparation). Water each plant straight away after planting. Leave the fertiliser in the shed until the plants are at least a few months old. Cover your beds with a thick layer of organic mulch to keep the grass and weeds away.
Then sit back and enjoy (and down that well-deserved beer!)
See you at Yuruga (where you can fuel up with coffee and cake in preparation for a day in the garden).
Peter and Ann