7 Gardening Rules of Thumb For New Plants

7 Gardening Rules of Thumb For New Plants

Sometimes it’s the tips and insider information that comes from experience that are the best ideas when doing just about anything. After gardening for close to 30 years I’ve have a few rules of thumb that I’ve been told by other gardeners and have experienced first hand in my own garden.

7 Gardening Rules of Thumb

1. Use Native Soil


When planting a new perennial, shrub or tree, don’t fill the whole with a bag of topsoil or compost, but rather use the soil that you just dug up. It’s fine to add a little compost or slow release fertilizer, but the majority should be native soil. Why? Because this will help the plants roots get established in the new environment, and reach beyond the planting hole.

Easy Layering Plant Propation – Spirea In Pots Pruned

2. Plant on a Cloudy Day


Whenever possible, plant on a cloudy day, preferably when rain is in the forecast. This helps reduce transplant shock. If you plant on a hot sunny day, even if you water well, the plants will not be able to acclimate to their new home as well.

digging the right sized hole
via Tommy Sea on Flickr

3. Dig the Right Size Hole


A great rule of thumb here is, 2 times the width but no deeper than the pot it came in. Plants will tend to settle a little, and you don’t want it to sink below ground level. This also helps the roots grow out into the loose surrounding soil which is likely to be more beneficial and rich.


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