A lot of people struggle with trying to figure out what plants are best for their property. So, let’s tackle that together.
What to Plant Where and Why
First, we’re going to clear out some of the bigger shrubs that we want to get rid of or use later and the Stihl Yard Boss can till into the soil and get rid of the smaller plants. Now let’s till the soil of the area we’re working with in this garden.
Tip #1: Understand What Works in Your Yard
Soil Texture is basically the definition of sand, silt, or clay in your soil. Usually they are all combined to create your soil. What you really want for a good and healthy garden space is a sandy loam. You really want some organic matter, such as wood chips and pieces of dead leave, mixed in your soil so they can add nutrients as they decompose.
You want to know the make up of your soil because when you are picking out your plants, you want to pick plants that can handle or like being in your soil make up.
So, how do you test what the composition of your soil? You can take a clump of soil, get rid of all the sticks and small stones, add a little bit of water and do a ribbon test. A ribbon test will tell us if we have more sand or clay or silt, ideally you want to be somewhere in the middle. Once you add the water to your clump of soil, you want to squeeze out all the water until it doesn’t drip anymore. Next, you’re going to make a little ball with the mud. If the ball holds its shape, it means you definitely have some clay and silt in the mix. If you have more sand in your soil, the ball would crumble open. Now for the ribbon test, you’re going to take the ball and press it through your thumb and index finger to see how long of a “ribbon” you can get. The idea behind this is that the longer the “ribbon” the more clay or silt you probably have. If the ribbon breaks easily or quickly, you have more sand in your soil mixture.
If you have a lot of sand in your soil, you would want to make sure you add organic materials to balance it out because sand doesn’t hold a lot of nutrients. Organic Materials include peat moss, mulch, and manure.
Tip #2: Scaling Your Plants
It can be helpful to lay out your plant placement before planting. Try to pick up some colorful plants that match or go along with the trees or other plants you have on the property.
Start with the smaller plants on the bottom, them medium sized plants, and then the largest plants that are the stars of the planting area. If you want to save some money, you can use some smaller plants and just spread them out a bit more, they will grow in eventually.
If any plants are root bound; when a plant is in a container for a long time the roots have nowhere to go, so they just gather at the bottom; I would just break them off which will create a fresh start at the end of the root that is still attached. I also want to give it a little bit of scratching on the sides, encouraging the roots to grow into the surrounding soil instead of continuing to grow in a circle.
You can level your soil so it’s not so bumpy and uneven. Make sure you don’t have soil too close to the neck of your plants. You can plant your plants a little higher than usual if you plan to put a layer of mulch down, so you don’t burry the plant in mulch.
Tip #3: Caring for Your Plants
Now that we’ve selected plants that work for the soil type and scaled them to the space, it’s time to think about taking care of them. Watering your plants after planting is super important. You really want to get them established in the space. You can add a little bit of plant food to your water to give your new plants an extra boost. What I really like to do is feed the soil, because long term they’re going to do well if you have good soil. After the seasons change and some of the perennials die back a little bit, you can prune them down with hedgers or trimmers and they’ll re-sprout brand new and fresh when they’re ready. Try to make sure all the plants you select have similar watering needs. It’s important if you’re trying to water them all together, so keep that in mind when selecting your plants.
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