Perennial Planting & Soil Preparation

In general, most perennials prefer being planted in sites with well drained soil. The drainage in poor soils can be improved by adding organic matter like, compost, leaves, peat moss, or aged manure. For new perennial beds, incorporate 4 to 6 inches of organic matter into the soil before planting. When transplanting new perennials into an existing garden, incorporate a few handfuls of organic materials into the hole prior to planting.

In general, dig a planting hole at least 50% larger then the size of the container you are planting. Larger sized holes should be dug when you intend to mix in organic material. Carefully remove the perennial from the container by holding one hand over the top of the pot and turn the container upside down. Gently tap the bottom of the pot to loosen the root zone from the container and gently pull the pot away. If the container does not easily come off, it may be necessary to squeeze the container until the plant comes out of the pot.
Next, place the plant in the hole so the top of root ball is at the same level as the top of the hole. It may be necessary to remove the plant and place a little soil back in the bottom of the planting hole and retry aligning the top of the hole with the top of the root ball. Many perennials do not tolerate being planted too deeply and may not grow very well or may succumb to crown and root rots. Conversely, perennials planted too high may not grow properly and are more susceptible to drying out. Once the plants are at the proper height, fill in the planting hole with soil, gently packing the soil around the roots and being careful to not overly pack or compact the soil around the new planting.

After planting, it is important to water them well. For the first couple of weeks or so, it is important to keep the soil moist, but not soaking wet. Keep in mind that many new plantings do not perform well or even die because they are either over- or under-watered. Once they are established, most perennials can tolerate less moisture. For optimum growth, it is recommended to deliver 1 inch of water per week either by rainfall or through irrigation systems.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.