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Home > Essentials of Gardening > Gardening Basics > Planting Techniques
Planting Techniques
Planting means putting plant material in the soil. It maybe in the form of transplanting, i.e. shifting from one site to another or inserting a cutting or putting in a bulb. "Saddle planting" means planting in such a manner that the plant rests as if on a saddle. The soil underneath is given the shape of a gently sloping mound or hill and the roots of the plants are spread over it. This gives a firmer base to the plant roots. Plants like asparagus and flag iris prefer this kind of saddle planting.

No amount of watering or fertilizer will compensate for improper planting. On many occasions I have puzzled over the problems of plants only to discover they were planted six inches too deep or with their roots bound tightly. There isn`t any mystery to good planting, just some common sense techniques.

Some of the essentials of planting are briefly described below:

1. Planting may preferably be done late in the afternoon as this would save the plant from immediate excessive transpiration which takes place in the daytime.

2. Provide light shade, if possible, to the plant till it is established, to prevent shock due to direct exposure to sunshine. This is very essential during the hot summer months.

3. The soil must be prepared in advance for planting.

4. Plants which need to be uprooted should be watered sometime before. An ideal condition is where the soil is moist and the plant is dry. Do not plant when soil is wet or soggy as even firming will be difficult and it is likely to leave air pockets.

5. Dig the plant with the root intact and as much of earth ball as possible. This ensures that the plant receives minimum shock.

6. Spread the roots as the grow and do not let them crowd, twist or interlock.

7. If required use a stake and stake the plants as soon as the roots are spread out. Do not insert a stake immediately after planting as this is likely to cause greater damage when inserting the stake after the plant is established.

8. Hold the plant in the left hand and spread the roots with the right hand. Make a small hole and insert the roots as naturally spread out. The roots much touch the soil firmly, at the same not allowed to get twisted. Gradually put in the soil, holding the plant firmly and firm it. A mistake generally is to firm the soil only after all the soil has been put. This sometimes leaves air pockets near the roots which can prove fatal for the plant. Firming should not be postponed till the end except for seedlings, cuttings and small plants. From polythene bags or pots , plants can be transplanted anytime provided necessary precautions are taken. In dry weather mulch the plant after transplanting.

9. After the last lot of soil mixture has been added, firm all around the plant. In case of bigger plants you can use your foot to firm it.

10. A safe guide regarding the depth of planting is that the portion inside the soil should be up to the original level, except of course, where the original level was defective. The depth of planting should be as the natural growth of the plant requires. Deep planting, like deep sowing is defective. Plants like onions if deep planted may not form bulbs. Similarly orchids with pseudo bulbs like Cymbidium or Phaius may rot or not flower at al lif pseudo bulbs are planted too deep.

11. After planting water gently with a fine hose.

12, If the soil is too soggy or the bed is not ready, put the plants in a shallow hole and bury the roots with soil.

13. After planting, put the plant in shade or cover with light shaded material like straw or newspapers or straw mattresses known as "hoglas" if possible, to avoid excessive evaporation. Excessive cold or frost is equally harmful.

14. Frost has a tendency to lift the young plants. Therefore the soil around the plant should be firmed on the next day of heavy frost. Not only seedlings and small shrubs but small and big can also be transplanted successfully.

Planning Choice of Plants Soil Preparation
Testing and Tilling .. Soil Amendments Procurement of Plant..
Planting Techniques Planting Techniques .. Types of Soil
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