The Complete Gardener's Guide ,
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Materials Needed

  • perennial plants
  • shovel
  • fork
  • watering can or garden hose
  • controlled-release granular fertilizer
  • organic mulch of compost or well-rotted manure
  • gravel

Step 1: Prepare the Ground

Dig up the soil to aerate it, reduce compaction and remove any weeds. Then dig in some organic matter, such as well-rotted manure or compost. If your soil is particularly heavy, you may also need to add some horticultural grit to prevent water-logging.

Step 2: Place the Plant in the Hole

Dig a hole twice as wide as the plant pot and a little deeper. Set the plant in the hole, and check that it will be at about the same depth when planted as it was in its original pot.

Step 3: Prepare the Plant

Fork the bottom of the hole to loosen any compacted soil. Water the plant well, then slip it out of its pot. Gently tease out any circling roots from the rootball. Place the plant back into the hole.

Step 4: Apply Granular Fertilizer

Follow the package instructions for adding some controlled-release granular fertilizer to the excavated soil. Fill in around the root ball with it, firming it down with your fingers.

Step 5: Apply Mulch or Manure

Water the plant well, and apply an organic mulch of compost or well-rotted manure. Lay gravel around plants that like their stems kept dry, such as achilleas, stachys, and sedums.

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