Planting & Fertilizing
Whether you are starting from scratch or improving an existing garden, these guidelines will help you install and fertilize annuals, perennials, and veggies. Get ready to enjoy your garden this season with a little help from us!
When planting perennials singly into your existing garden, garden soil or compost should be used as an amendment. Dig your hole about 1.5 times the size of the container. Use a 1/3 ratio of amendment to native soil. Mix the amendment with the native soil. Use Bio-Tone or M-Roots as a starter fertilizer and Flower Tone as a bloom booster when planting-this increases root and flower production. Score the roots prior to install. Back fill making sure not to bury the plant too deep. Water well after planting and finish with mulch. Mulch maintains soil temperature (preventing heaving during the winter and keeping the soil cool in the summer) and retains moisture. When creating a new perennial garden from scratch, remove the existing vegetation or lawn from the area you would like to plant. Amend the entire area to a depth of 8-10" with compost, Bio-Tone, and Flower-Tone. Figure again a ratio of about 1/3 compost. Be sure the soil is loose and rich to the depth of at least 8". Install the perennials and finish with mulch.
If space is an issue, consider planting your perennials in containers. Which containers you choose is only limited to your imagination. Plastic or clay pots, buckets, and wooden boxes are all suitable for growing many perennials. Be sure to add drainage holes in the bottom of any solid container and line the bottom with crushed stone or rocks for better drainage. As for filling your containers with soil, choose a synthetic mix. Synthetic mixes are best are better aerated and much lighter than typical garden soil. Be sure to add slow release fertilizer (Osmocote) to your potting mix and remember, container grown perennials will also require more watering and fertilizing than those planted in the ground.
A good fertilization program for your perennials is important. Once the plants begin to crest the ground in the spring (April-May), rake back the mulch by about 12". Scratch in Flower-Tone and apply a 1-2" layer of compost around the base of each perennial. Be sure not to bury the crown of the plant. Rake the mulch back in place and water. Repeat this process one or two more times during the growing season especially when plants are beginning to flower.
A liquid fertilizer can also be applied to perennials which will give them an instant boost. Liquid fertilizers are available to your plant immediately (as opposed to a slow release granular). If you choose to supplement with liquid feed, switch between an all-purpose and a bloom booster. This will ensure a well balanced feeding. Stop fertilizing by late August or early September so plants can get ready for dormancy.
When starting your vegetable garden, the most important factors are location and proper planning. Leafy vegetables such as lettuce and spinach need the least amount of sunlight, only 4-5 hours. Root vegetables require 5-6 hours, and fruiting vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini require at least 8 hours of sun. NO vegetable can grow in total shade.
Make a list of veggies you want to grow and create a plan. The plan should include the garden size, space between rows and within rows, crops and varieties along with planting dates. Making two plans (one for spring and one for summer planting and fall harvest) is even more helpful. Also, remember to plant your tallest growing crops on the north side of the garden so as to not shade lower growing plants. A good design will save you time and make the most of your garden space. Be sure to rotate your crops yearly so similar vegetables are not planted in the same location. Each crop uses different nutrients and by rotating your crops the soil will not become depleted.
Proper soil preparation is essential for high yielding crops. Be sure to loosen your soil to the depth of at least 8" and add at least 3" of organic matter such as compost. Don't forget your fertilizer! Chickity Doo Doo is great for veggies and herbs planted in the ground. Thoroughly mix your amendment and fertilizer into the soil. Leaving your new veggie garden slightly mounded will ensure proper drainage.
When planting veggies into your existing garden, compost and fertilizer should always be used to improve soil annually. Veggies are heavy feeders and require a good amount of nutrients in order to yield an abundant crop.
If space was an issue, considering planting your veggies in containers. Which containers you choose is only limited to your imagination. Plastic or clay pots, buckets and wooden boxes are all suitable for growing veggies. Tubs and even garbage barrels provide ample space for the roots of tomatoes and cucumbers. Be sure to add drainage holes in the bottom of any solid container and line the bottom with crushed stone or rocks for better drainage. As for filling your containers with soil, choose a synthetic mix. Remember that container grown veggies will require more watering and fertilizing than those planted in the ground.
Once planted, veggies should be fertilized every 10 days or so with a liquid fertilizer. Switch between an all purpose and a bloom booster to ensure a well-balanced feeding. Once plants begin to show signs of fruiting you can also side dress with granular fertilizer. Fertilizing your veggies is essentially important if you want to produce an abundance of fruit...for all your labor!
As stated in both the perennial and vegetable section...proper planning and proper preparation is essential! If you are starting a new annual garden bed follow the same procedures as you would when you are prepping a new perennial bed. Most people plant annuals in certain section of their bed seasonally. By working garden soil or compost into your beds along with Flower Tone prior to planting you will ensure bigger better blooms all season long.
If space is an issue, once again consider planting annuals in containers. The ideas and possibilities are endless. A simple custom hanging basket can change the look and feel of any entranceway. Traditional or contemporary pottery designs can accent any size landscape. As for filling your containers with soil, choose a synthetic mix. Container grown annuals will require more watering and fertilizing than those planted in the ground.
Once planted, annuals should be fertilized every 10 days or so with a liquid (instant) fertilizer. Switch between an all purpose and a bloom booster this will ensure a well-balanced feeding. For annuals planted in containers, keep in mind that as the roots grow they will take up more room in the container which means they will need more water and fertilizer as the season progresses. Unfertilized, your mixed pots will begin to look tired and hungry by mid-season.
The essentials are relatively the same for any planting. Properly prepare and continually feed for the best results! Bigger, better blooms and fruits equal bigger, better rewards!