Around the Yard
Tips for Planting and Growing Flowers and Other Plants in Your Yard
By: Danny Lipford
When planting flowers or shrubs in your yard or garden:
- Enrich Soil: Till and add amendments and organic material to the entire planting bed, rather than just the area around each plant.
- Rootbound Plants: When planting rootbound container plants, loosen or cut the roots before planting so they will spread.
- Compress Soil: When planting container plants, compress the dirt around the plant to the same consistency as the surrounding soil.
- Planting Depth: Container plants should be planted to the depth they were in the container.
- Watering Plants: Make sure new plants receive plenty of water during the first month until the roots are established.
- Saving Water: A soaker hose equipped with a timer is one of the best ways to water plants efficiently without wasting water.
- Mulching: Apply mulch around plants holds in moisture and keeps the soil temperature more consistent.
Watch this video to find out more.
- Perennial Flower Garden Basics (article)
- How to Plant Container Plants in Your Yard (video)
- Deadheading Flowers (video)
- Guide to Growing Bulbs in Your Garden (article)
Danny Lipford: What are some of the common things that homeowners do wrong when they’re planting plants?
Julie Day-Jones: Well, one of the main things people do wrong is they only amend the soil right around the plant. If you do that, your plant only has a very small area where it can grow. So you want to amend the whole area, till up that whole bed, put in some peat moss and some potting soil to give all of your plants a good start.
Danny Lipford: I see. Okay, now, when you’re selecting plants, sometimes you have roots coming out of the bottom of them, sometimes you don’t. Is that a sign of good plant or bad plant?
Julie Day-Jones: Well, it doesn’t really matter. But if they are root bound, with roots growing out of the bottom, they’re under stress. So you want to plant them carefully. Loosen those roots just a little bit or take a sharp knife and slice them to be sure that they can grow out.
Danny Lipford: Well, now, what about packing these things in? I was by a job the other day and I saw guys out there just packing these plants in. I thought you wanted ’em to be kind of loose.
Julie Day-Jones: Well, you want them to settle in nice and firm just like the surrounding soil. Another mistake that a lot of people make is planting things too deep or too shallow.
Danny Lipford: Hmm, I didn’t know about that.
Julie Day-Jones: Yeah, it’s very important. Usually they want them to be at the same depth that they were in the pot that came from the store. So when you dig your hole you want to firm up that soil around it so it will settle down and keep them at a nice, right level.
Danny Lipford: Okay. And watering. I mean, you got to water ’em a lot when you first plant, right?
Julie Day-Jones: You do. Especially for about the first month or so to make sure they get established. But they’re still—especially flowering plants—they’re going to need a little extra water. So you might want to put in a drip irrigation system, a soaker hose, some way to get water right to the roots of the plants without spraying everywhere and evaporating off.
Danny Lipford: Yeah, the soaker hose. I always heard that’s probably the best way to go. And I saw one the other day that a homeowner had a little timer hooked up to an outside hose faucet. I thought that was just perfect.
Julie Day-Jones: Yeah, that’s awesome. You can water without even having to remember.
Danny Lipford: Yeah, that’s a great idea. Now, mulch, I mean, mulch. This is pine straw we’ve been putting back over this after we plant these few plants. But there’s a lot of different kinds of mulch. Any mulch better than others? And what’s the real reason for the mulch other than it looks nice?
Julie Day-Jones: Well, mulch holds in moisture and keeps the temperature steady. It really doesn’t matter what kind you use. You can use what works or looks prettiest in your yard.