planting technique - Knowledgebase Question

Grayling, Mi
Question by riverfolk155
April 26, 2010
the instructions for planting say to dig a hole 12 inches deep and twice as wide and put in compost then plant the plant. Do I actually put the plant directly onto compost? won't that burn the plant? I need to plant my cone flowers for the first time and am worried about doing it correctly..

Answer from NGA
April 26, 2010


I agree, the planting instructions are really clear and I wonder if they are even complete! The standard for planting perennials is to amend the planting bed - not just the planting hole - with compost or other organic matter. If you're not planting anything else in the area right now, you can still amend a large area, about a 2' area, before planting your coneflowers. Spread 4-5 inches of compost or other organic matter over the soil and dig it in to a depth of about 10 inches. Mix it in well and then level the soil and tamp it down or water it down well to help settle the soil. If you water it down, wait until the following day to plant your coneflowers. When it's time to plant, dig a hole as deep and slightly wider than the nursery pot. The goal is to have the plant growing at the same soil level as it was growing in the container. You can set the container into the hole to make sure the plant will be resting at the right soil level. When you're satisfied the hole is the right size, lay your plant (and its container) on its side and gently coax it out of the container. Set it in the hole you dug and then fill in around the sides with the soil you took out of the planting hole. Water your plant well to help settle the soil. The hard work's done - now sit back and enjoy your garden.

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