In the Gar­den

Taranaki Daily News - Your Property Weekly - - Front Page - Wally Richards Prob­lems? Phone me on 0800 466 464 or email wal­lyjr@gar­de­news.co.nz.

This is the best time of the year for plant­ing trees, shrubs, roses, peren­ni­als and also hardy vegeta­bles and an­nual flow­ers.

This is be­cause the day­light hours are ex­tend­ing, which en­cour­ages new growth and the plants will have sev­eral months to es­tab­lish be­fore summer dry spells oc­cur.

It is also an ex­cel­lent time to trans­plant any ex­ist­ing plants that you wish to move.

Con­tainer plants – or­na­men­tal plants such as roses or fruit trees that have not had their roots pruned for a cou­ple of years – should also be at­tended to now.

Large plants in big con­tain­ers will re­quire two or three strong peo­ple to re­move them from their con­tain­ers so their roots can be pruned and the plants placed back into the same con­tain­ers.

A lit­tle while back a gar­dener asked me what gar­den­ing tool did I con­sider the most use­ful?

The an­swer gave the person a bit of a shock when I said my 2.5 ton fork­lift – see­ing that most of my gar­den­ing is done in con­tain­ers and in raised gar­dens, be­cause we are liv­ing above a ware­house with 90 per cent of the out­side area in con­crete.

The fork­lift al­lows me to move con­tainer plants around and us­ing pro­tec­tion for the trunks of the trees and a rope makes it easy to lift them out of the con­tain­ers for root prun­ing.

Ev­ery gar­dener should have one, say I smil­ing.

A gar­dener phoned me re­cently ask­ing how to give the fruit trees and na­tives they are go­ing to plant a re­ally good start.

An ex­cel­lent ques­tion and an ideal topic at this time of the year.

What I am go­ing to say is what I be­lieve is the ul­ti­mate in es­tab­lish­ing new plants, you need to de­cide whether you want to use all or some of the pro­ce­dures in your own plant­ings.

For food ob­vi­ously a lit­tle mild food in the form of blood and bone and sheep ma­nure pel­lets would be per­fect as they will en­cour­age growth and help the soil life to grow also.

If you have good fer­tile, hu­mus rich soil, all you need to do when you plant is dig a hole, add a few good­ies and plant.

Many gar­den­ers will have ei­ther clay or sandy type soils and that is where you are best not to make a nor­mal plant­ing hole.

In­stead make a hole twice the depth and width than you need. Mix the dig­gings in your wheel­bar­row with a good pur­chased com­post about half and half.

Line the bot­tom of the hole with this mix to about the right level to plant. Now here is the next con­sid­er­a­tion to make, de­pen­dent on the plant and whether the area is prone to drought or flood­ing.

If the plant hates wet feet then to com­pen­sate you need to plant it higher than the sur­round­ing soil, in fact on a mound.

If the area is prone to drought then plant deeper than the sur­round­ing soil so it’s in a hol­low that will eas­ily catch wa­ter when you wa­ter or it rains.

Be­sides the foods men­tioned, I would highly rec­om­mend that you place some Rok Solid in the plant­ing hole along with some gyp­sum and a lit­tle bit of BioPhos. The BioPhos is nat­u­ral phos­pho­rus bro­ken down by mi­crobes in­stead of acid.

Thus you are adding more soil life to the new plants’ root zone.

If you are want­ing to give the plants an ex­tra good start then drench the soil af­ter plant­ing with My­cor­rcin and Magic Botanic Liq­uid (MBL)

The My­cor­rcin is a food for My­c­or­rhizal fungi which at­tach to the roots of plants and ex­tends the ef­fec­tive root sys­tem by about 800 per cent.

The mi­cro­scopic threads of the fungi gather nu­tri­ents and mois­ture for the plant in ex­change for car­bo­hy­drates. The fungi also aids the pro­duc­tion of hu­mus which is what we need for the ul­ti­mate in soils.

The MBL sup­plies min­er­als to the soil, re­leases locked-up min­er­als and cleans up chem­i­cal residues from the past.

Do­ing what I have de­scribed would give your plants the best start in the soil that I am aware of but only part of the plant is in the soil. The fo­liage is go­ing to be af­fected by wind, sun and cli­mate; so for one fi­nal big help in es­tab­lish­ing, it would be to spray all the fo­liage, un­der and over with Va­por­gard, which puts a film over the leaves sprayed that lasts for about three months. The film not only pro­tects the leaves from the likes of wind dam­age it also pro­tects the chloro­phyl from UV al­low­ing the plant to gen­er­ate more en­ergy from sun­light.

I have heard cases where plant­ings in more ad­verse con­di­tions us­ing a num­ber of the pro­ce­dures de­scribed have achieved a 3 to 5 years head start on the new plants when com­pared to ones that were planted with­out.

Whether it’s seedlings you are plant­ing or spec­i­men trees, the more care you take in the plant­ing will de­ter­mine how soon you will achieve the re­sults de­sired.

Photo: FAIR­FAX NZ

Per­sonal touch: Giv­ing your new plants some ex­tra love will give them the best pos­si­ble op­por­tu­nity to flour­ish.

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