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  • Five Gardening Basics

    Are you new to gardening or maybe you could use a refresher course on planting before spring? Here's a handy list of 5 gardening basics to get you started on any garden project.

    1. Sunlight -  Examine the location where you want your new plants or garden and determine the sunlight it receives. When you come in to our nurseries to pick out your plants we will ask you, "how much sun do you get in the spot you are planting?" The reason we ask this is because plants like different light conditions a plant that prefers sun won't do well in a shady spot and a plant that needs shade will suffer if given to much sun. So, your first step will be to determine the amount of sun that your garden gets.

    • Full sun - you have full sun if your garden receives 6-8 hours of full sun each day.
    • Partial sun - a partial sun spot  receives 3 - 6 hours of sun a day, usually in the late morning to early afternoon.
    • Partial shade - In this spot, your garden receives sun that is filtered through leaves or by an adjacent building or plant with filtered light coming in for most of the day.
    • Shade - If you garden receives 3 hours of sun or less and is in the shade the majority of the day you have a shady garden.

    2. Soil - The next thing to consider is your soil type.

    • Here, in the Southeast, we typically have dense red clay.
    • Choose a planting mix that includes organic matter mixed with particles for improving soil drainage, like our Pike Planting Mix, which will help break up the red clay and provide better dranaige. 
    • Blend the planting mix it with your existing native soil at a 50/50 ratio to use when planting your new plant. 
    3. Planting - give your new plant the best start by planting it properly in the ground.
    • The general rule of thumb to follow is to dig a planting hole twice the height and width of the rootball that your plant currently has in its nursery pot.
    • Now as we mentioned before, mix the soil you dug out of the hole with Pike Planting Mix at a 50/50 ratio and the fill the hole you dug with enough soil so that the bottom of the hole is the about the height of the new plants rootball.
    • Next, place a nadful of E.B. Stone Sure Start fertilizer in the hole.
    • Remove the plant from the pot its in and place it in the center of the hole.
    • Use the remaining soil you mixed earlier to fill in around the plants roots.
    • Sprinkle another handful of plant starter around the plant on the top of the soil
    • Tap gently around the plant to condense the soil a bit.

    4. Watering - It is critical that you water in your plant as soon as you plant it and then continue to water well while it establishes. 

    •  Different plants need different amounts of water - learn what your plant needs.Take note if your plant has any special watering requirements. Is it a plant that requires a lot of water or does it favor drier conditions? 
    • Generally the first year it is important to supplement water to all plants no matter their moisture preferences while they establish a vigorous root system.
    • Plants that are planted in containers will need more water in the hot, summer months than the same plant would need if planted in the ground.
    • Get to know your garden - shady spots won't need extra water as often as sunnier spots will. And you may have spots that drain water away faster than other because of a slope.
    5. Fertilizing - Fertilizing is important when you plant your plant and for their ongoing maintenance.
    • Starter Fertilizer -  is used when your are first planting your plant. It is formulated to encourage a healthy new root system.
    • Everyday Fertilizer - you will use on a regular basis to give your plants additional nutrients that they need. There are specific formulas made for different types of plants  Trees have a fertilizer of their own while fertilizer for annual flowering plants is a different formula. Don't worry about which you should be using. Just come in and tell us what you have in your garden and our certified plant professionals can point you to the right fertilizer and give you a schedule of when to apply it.
    Okay... Ready, Set, Plant!! Get out there and Play in the Dirt!  
    Click here to learn more -  Gardening 101.

    See more articles about: Gardening for Beginners, Garden Care