free advice for the great outdoors – if its not here – tell me

tree planting – what, when, how – now

tree planting

tree planting

Tree planting season has just about arrived. This doesn’t mean you can’t plant trees, it just means, like giving presents to your neighbours, there is a main season for it. Like tree planting, you can of course do this any time you like. However unlike Christmas, at this time of year it can be a little more cost effective, especially in commercial projects.

When planning for any tree planting, preparation is the golden. If you’re one of my four Sisters however and you can still bully me into doing your homework for you or like my three brothers you read a book and you can rewrite Darwinsblogs are for I suppose. theories over coffee the next morning, that’s absolutely fine [get it wrong and then ask my sister to bully me for you]. If you are none of the above… then that’s what

Whatever my sense of humour, trees are always in fashion and like The Rolling Stones at Slane Castle – always a classic, never dated, look better in the rain and I like it, like it yes I do.

Why should you buy one: Not only is a tree cheaper than that butter dish of a wedding present or those socks for your Fathers birthday, it also lasts longer and shouldn’t fit in the bin!

Trees are good for the planet. They recycle our air, block out those buildingswildlife into your garden. [neighbours] you don’t particularly like and encourage

Eventual height is so important. People often tell me that a cheaper fast growing tree is better and than they will keep maintained at a certain height. The problem for you is that the roots will wish to support a fully grown tree. A well chosen, slow growing tree bought in at the specific required height is a lot better and easier. It may be a little more costly at the start but in an era of low maintenance, little or no attention will be required.

The site. Your proposed tree planting site may have overhead cables, be too near construction [restricting the roots or damaging structures] or hinder existing plant growth. The overall character of the tree at all times must be considered at all times.

What do you actually want the tree to do? You may want to encourage wildlife, it may be privacy or even a windbreak. and whilst the tree may look really elegant in that book – it may not actually wish to grow where it is put.

What does the tree want? Mother Nature has a contract with these woody perennials and some can be quite fussy. Although they won’t actually say it, the plant will eventually tell you that it doesn’t want to live there. Apart from structural hindrances to your tree[s] do consider climatic conditions and the requirements for the growth of any plant.

Moving to a new home, for any human [and trees!] can be somewhat stressful. You should protect your tree from breaks, bruising and skin tears when transporting.

Wrap them up well with heshion sacking [old potatoe seed bags] around the main lifting area and carefully tie up the main head and branches.

Keep the roots moist [don’t drown them] in a sand pits or loose soil and in a shady, calm area until ready for planting.

Before planting your tree, as best as possible remove all existing growth from the area surrounding your tree-pit. You should dig approximately twice the width and depth of the root zone. Some soil will need to be backfilled but this will make easier for root penetration. Prepared properly, the roots will go with gravity – if not the roots may turn and force the tree to shift upwards. Poor preparation can usually be seen were the roots of old trees pass over the lawn surface of your lawn. With the scion, the point between the roots and the actual stem, level with true ground level all soil can be backfilled. This will require a good stamping down to eliminate any air pockets which may later fill with water whilst also preventing the tree from movement within its pit. Don’t allow your new investment to dehydrate and during planting give the tree a spoon of sugar to make it like you a little more. Bone meal used to be applied until some time ago but [due to modern constraints and modern science] it is better to use a slow release fertilizer.

Even vegans like tree stakes. A little support in the form of a tree stake, a strap, tie and buckle will prove so beneficial in preventing the tree in its infancy from growing askew. It should be horizontal to the ground and some added careful select pruning will prevent it ending up more like a lanky and unkempt bush. Train them well in the early days and the dividends will pay off.

Rootballed and Bare-root trees are mostly field grown trees grown for the commercial market. Due to the fact that one should wait until the roots are dormant, the task is therefore seasonal and naturally dependant an autumn/ winter temperature drop. For most varieties, these types of grown trees are usually less expensive than buying main season potted trees. Public demands, modern trends and specialisation in the tree growing now allows one to have any size, age or maturity and type of tree almost instantly.

Remember, enjoy your garden and love what you do. Your trees will appreciate it.

bulbs – planting starts now!

bulbs...

bulbs...

You want spring colour in your garden, but you and I know the gardeners summer holidays is just after the sprouts and turkey, when you most need a little inspiration and even the garden is looking a little lazy. Grandma’ and the relations have just moved back home and you’ve got to go outside semi-unthawed and breath some life into the earth. Why not plant your bulbs now and look out the window!

The bigger the bulb – the better the bloom Your bulbs should be healthy, free from blemishes and nicely plump. Depending on the natural size of the bulb, bulbs that are too small don’t always flower in the first year and larger bulbs produce better flowers. Avoid dessicated and withered or those with symptoms of mould or rot. Bulbs that have been overexposed to light or warmth in storage can begin leaf growth which usually results in an immature root system and ultimately weak floppy stems

Best planted in clusters Plant in Autumn or early winter before the ground freezes. The biochemical process requiring low temperatures in order to flower is called vernalisation. Depth of planting as a general is usually three times the height of the bulb but this may vary. With rhizomes and tubers for example, shallow planting is a must and both should be placed tops level with the soil surface. Tuberous roots must be placed with sufficient depth for their fibrous roots with stem buds near the surface.

Planting Tips Make a hole using a trowel, shovel or a buy yourself a special bulb digger. Bulbs don’t need great soil but they do need good drainage. Chicken wire over the soil will prevent squirrels from eating the bulbs. To encourage growth use a bulb fertiliser/ slow release bulb food rather than bone meal. Deeply dug bulbs divide slower and require less lifting for division. Sharp sand can be used or added for extra drainage and/ or deep planting. Plant bulbs as soon as you can after purchase. If you can’t – store them in a cool dry place or in a refrigerator.

Do remember this is a general guide to bulbs. If you have any further questions, queries or requests you can as always post your comment on the weblog, email or call me. I must also mention it is positive ageing week running until October 6th their website is well worth a visit. Light up your life, plant some bulbs and as always enjoy.

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