Dig Planting Holes Ahead of Time!

Posted by @passiflora on
There are many times when you are planning to place a tree or shrub, but you don't have the specimen you want or it is not the best time of year to plant. At other times, you may have ideal conditions for digging a hole for your plant: nice cool weather or moist earth after a rain. Maybe you have extra help for digging, or you are just in the mood for a workout. Planting time and hole-digging time do not have to coincide!

One hot summer's day I was laboring in my yard with a shovel and pickaxe, preparing to plant 3 new fruit trees in my rocky yard. My neighbor "happened by" on his tractor, complete with post hole digger, and offered to help. I gladly accepted and within 10 minutes he had made 3 perfect holes for my trees and asked whether I needed any more holes dug. That started me thinking: What if I could plan ahead?

Now I often prepare my planting sites ahead of time and so can you.

All you need are a shovel and a plant container that you have recycled from a previous trip to the nursery. When you are in a digging mood or the time is otherwise right for you, dig the hole where you want it, put the container in the hole, and backfill it with the same dirt. Make the edge flush so you can mow over it. If you wish, you can cover the site with a stepping stone or mulch. It can be easily removed (I use a garden fork or trenching shovel) on the day you are ready to put your tree or shrub into the ground. I have dug holes up to 6 months ahead of time using this method.

A planting hole can make a great gift, too: a labor of love with a lot of value but no cost!
Thumb of 2014-07-02/passiflora/453e49

I sometimes wonder whether it was pure coincidence that my neighbor happened by, complete with hole-digging attachment. Hmmm... Thanks, neighbor! If you are reading this, you know who you are!

Comments and discussion:
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Planning ahead by Weedwhacker Aug 4, 2014 3:19 PM 12

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