Planting Basics You Need to Know

As spring approaches and the weather warms up, many of us are excited to return to our gardens and start planting. Whether you have a large backyard or a small balcony space, gardening is a great way to beautify your home and provides many mental and physical health benefits. However, with all the different information out there, it can seem overwhelming for those new to gardening.

That’s why we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide on planting basics that every homeowner and gardener should know. From choosing the right location for your plants to providing them with proper care, we will cover everything you need to know to create a successful garden this season. So grab your gardening tools and dive into the planting world!

mans hands carefully planing an already started seedling

Bulbs Offer an Easy Start to Growing a Garden

Bulbs are a great way to start your gardening journey, especially for beginners. They are low maintenance and offer a burst of color in the springtime. Some popular bulb options include tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and crocuses. When planting bulbs, choosing a location with well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight is essential. Most types of bulbs prefer full sun or partial shade and can grow well in various soil types.

Before planting, prepare the garden soil by removing any weeds, rocks, or debris. Then, follow the instructions on the packaging for specific spacing and depth requirements. Bulbs should be planted two to three times their height deep into the ground. After planting, water thoroughly to help the roots establish. Bulbs should bloom in their first year; with proper care, they can continue to flower for many years.

Annuals Bring a Pop of Color to Any Garden

For those looking for quick results or wanting to add some color to their garden, annuals are the way to go. Annual plants have a one-year lifespan and need to be replanted each season. However, they offer a wide selection of vibrant flowers and foliage that can instantly enhance the look of your garden.

When choosing annuals, consider sunlight, water requirements, and climate suitability factors. Some popular options include petunias, marigolds, impatiens, and snapdragons. Annuals can be planted directly from seeds or purchased as young plants from a nursery. Ensure they have the proper nutrients and water, and they will reward you with a stunning display throughout the season.

Perennials Provide Long-Term Beauty

Bareroot perennials are another excellent option for beginner gardeners, as they offer long-term beauty and easy maintenance. These plants come dormant without any soil around their roots and can be planted directly into the ground or in containers. Some popular perennials include hostas, daylilies, coneflowers, and black-eyed Susans.

When planting bare-root perennials, dig a hole wide enough to accommodate the spreading roots. It should also be deep enough to set the crown, or the point where the plant meets the roots, one inch below the soil’s surface. Once planted, water thoroughly and provide regular care to establish the roots properly. Perennials require less maintenance than annuals, making them popular for long-term gardening solutions.

Tips for Planting Container-Grown Annuals and Perennials

Dormant container-grown perennials are mostly ready to plant, but since the greenhouse environment protects them, they must be introduced gradually to the direct sun and wind. Before planting, it is important to place the plants in a covered area with light shade and increase their exposure to the elements for around three days.

When you’re ready to plant, check the soil moisture in the container and water the plant if the soil is dry. Dig a large hole to accommodate the container and remove the plant from the container. The best way is to grip the container’s rim and turn it upside down. Tap the container against the heel of your hand. Before placing the plant in the ground, gently loosen the sides of the root ball and pull apart the roots around the bottom.

Place the plant in the hole and ensure the top of the root ball is level with the ground’s surface. Once you’ve placed the plant in the ground, push the soil over and around the top of the root ball, gently pushing the soil down and then water thoroughly.

The Best Way to Plant Bareroot and Container-Grown Woody Plants

When you’re ready to plant your bareroot trees, shrubs, or vines, remove the packaging and soak the roots in a bucket of water for just a few hours.

Dig a hole to accommodate the roots, and take special care when planting to prevent breaking the roots. The roots of woody plants can be brittle. Once the plant is in the ground, create a 1-2ft circle of mounded dirt around the plant to help catch and hold water. This will help the water get to the roots more efficiently.

With container-grown woody plants, you will treat them much like container-grown annuals and perennials by checking the soil before planting. If dry, water thoroughly while the plant is still in the container. The planting hole should be several times larger than the diameter of the root ball. Do not make the hole any deeper than the root ball’s height.

You will then need to remove the plant from the pot, break up the sides of the root ball gently, and then place it in the planting hole. Cover the hole with soil and gently firm the soil. You will leave a 1-2ft in diameter soil mound to help the water reach the roots more efficiently.

Discover Your Green Thumb at Phelps Nursery

Gardening is about beautifying your outdoor space, discovering a new hobby, and developing your green thumb. As you plant and care for your garden, you will learn more about different plants’ needs and how to support their growth. You will also become more attuned to nature and the changing seasons, which can be a calming and meditative experience.

In addition to mental benefits, gardening is a great form of physical activity. Digging, planting, and weeding require movement and can provide a full-body workout. It also gives you some fresh air and vitamin D, essential for overall health.

So this spring, don’t hesitate to start your garden and discover the joy of planting. With these basic tips, patience, and dedication, you can create a beautiful outdoor garden that will bring you joy for years to come.

And if you ever need assistance, don’t forget to visit your top local nursery, Phelps Nursery North, for expert advice and a wide selection of plants to help you create a beautiful garden. Contact us today to learn more!