Process of Gardening

Plant: Putting it all together

Planting essentials: A shovel, spade or hand trowel are essentially all you need to plant. Plants are very forgiving as long as you don’t drop, kick or stomp on them when planting. For balled and burlapped plants dig a generous hole when possible try to remove the burlap and/or wire basket and avoid excessive preparation …

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Preview: Putting it all together

Reviewing what we have covered in the Preview Module is straight forward: Place your plants (still in their containers) in the planting area Space them properly using the Garden Tutor measuring tape Step back and make any adjustments if needed

Prepare: Putting it all together

Unless you are planting individual trees or shrubs, you will need to prepare your soil for planting. Preparation involves laying out your site, removing anything that has to go, making beds, and amending and grading your soil. Preparing your garden site and making sure it looks neat and “clean” before planting is a critical step …

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Design: Putting it all together

The key to successful garden design is determining what you want to get out of your design and addressing the things that will constrain you. Determine the conditions in your garden site by doing site analysis. Compile a list of your site constraints. Sit down and think about your wants and other constraints. Look at …

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Maintain: Putting it all together

Maintain: Putting it all together Plants benefit from maintenance here are the essentials: Keep your plants, watered, mulched, and fertilized to help them remain healthy and happy. Doing so will help keep weeds and pests at bay and help your garden flourish. Keep up with weeding. Failure to do so will make it a lot …

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Winterizing

Winterizing In cold climates where frost and frozen ground is common throughout the winter you should consider protecting your most sensitive plants. Evergreen shrubs can be protected against winter burn by using burlap or an anti-desiccant as mentioned in the Transplanting lesson. You should wait until late Fall when temperatures are consistently cold (below 40 …

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Pruning

Pruning Pruning can correct growth problems, remove dead or diseased wood, and maintain the appearance of your plants. As your plants mature you should prune them on a regular basis to keep them healthy and attractive. We discuss a few types of pruning below, but before we get too specific here are two general cautions …

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Pest Control

Pest Control A course of this scope can’t begin to make you a pest control expert. We will give you some basic advice, but if you have a persistent pest problem, try to learn more about the pest and deal with it in an informed way. There are many useful sources of information you can …

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Staking

Staking Trees that remain sturdy and upright when first planted do not need to be staked. Otherwise, stake trees just enough to keep them upright and stable in harsh weather. Generally, you should not leave trees staked for periods longer than eight months; any longer than that and the tree may get damaged by the …

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Transplanting

Transplanting Sometimes you have a great plant but is in the wrong location. Transplanting is one way to help you address this situation. Here are a few guidelines for transplanting established plants on your property. It is generally best to transplant in early Spring or early Fall. Some plants have special transplanting requirements. Find out …

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Dividing

Dividing Dividing is done for several reasons: Often, older perennials grow poorly and dividing reinvigorates them. Dividing also keeps perennials from overgrowing or encroaching on neighboring plants. You can divide plants to increase your plant stock; you may want more of that plant elsewhere in your garden. Finally, dividing allows you to share your plants …

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Weeding

Weeding Weeds can turn a wonderful garden into a mess very quickly. They do not come to your garden magically; weed seeds can remain active in soil for many years. If you practice diligent weeding from the start you can make your soil relatively weed-free in a few years. Eventually, weeding will be an easy …

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Mulching

Mulching Mulches are good for controlling weeds and reducing surface erosion. They also keep the ground temperature fairly constant and help the soil retain moisture, both of which make your plants happy. There are many different mulches on the market, most of them natural and a few of them synthetic. The natural ones include various …

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Watering

Watering New plantings should be kept moist for the first three weeks after planting unless otherwise directed. This means that you should water long enough and often enough so that the soil is consistently moist (but not muddy) to a depth of about six to eight inches. When planting in hot weather you may have …

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Fertilizing

Fertilizing When you should fertilize depends on many factors, especially what type of fertilizer you use, what plants you are fertilizing, and the time of year. In general, you can’t go wrong using a balanced fertilizer in the spring. The following are a few basic recommendations for some plant types. Annual flowers and vegetables are …

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Deadheading

Deadheading Deadheading, or removing dead flowers from plants, prevents flowers from going to seed, which in turn causes them to bloom more profusely the following season. In some cases this will even cause the plant to bloom again in the same season. When deadheading, pinch or cut the dead flower at the bud or the …

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