We’ve always been told to plant in spring and fall but warmer temperatures are still a good time to add interest to your landscaping beds. It only takes a little extra attention and a few simple techniques to help new summer plantings thrive.
It is recommended to transplant existing plants in the fall or early spring (taking something up in your yard and moving it to another spot). You can plant new perennials, annuals, grasses and groundcovers, and trees and shrubs if the plants have spent the past several months in a container.
Any shock from planting a container shrub is pretty much nonexistent because you didn’t dig up the plant or disturb its roots. The newly planted plants can still become slightly stressed but with a little care and effort, it should develop a healthy root system and thrive. Be sure to use Espoma Biotone, which is a great root stimulator and transplant shock inhibitor at any time, but especially when planting in the summer. It’s important to amend your soils as you’re planting.
Where to Plant
Because your existing plants are in full bloom during the summer months, it is easy to figure out where to best place your new plants so they have enough room to grow. Adhere to the requirements of your new plants, being sure to plant sun tolerant plants in the sun and shade loving plants where they can receive much-needed protection from the sun.
When to Plant
When you plant can be just as important as how you plant. It’s best to plant on a cloudy or overcast day, in the early morning or in the evening. This will minimize weather-related stress and transpiration loss from leaves.
How to Plant
The same basic planting rules apply, whether it’s spring, summer or fall:
- Dig a hole a little deeper and about twice as wide as the plant’s root ball.
- Gently work the root ball loose with your hands or a garden fork.
- Put the plant into position and backfill with good soil mixed with a little compost.
- Tamp the soil to stabilize the plant and remove any air pockets.
- Water thoroughly.
How to Water
Watering plants should be done in the morning, if possible, unless plants are noticeably dry later in the day. Fill the newly dug hole with water and let it drain before planting — especially when dealing with clay soil. This helps to ensure an easier transition for the plant since the hole and surrounding soil are thoroughly moist. To check your plantings for moisture, put your finger in the soil approximately 2 inches. If dry, water thoroughly at the soil level, never on the trunk or foliage.
Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch immediately after planting. This will help conserve soil moisture and keep down weeds, which compete for water and nutrients. Use BioTone and Leafgro for soil amendments.
For the first two waterings of new plantings, use a diluted solution of organic fish and seaweed fertilizer, such as Neptune’s Harvest, to help the plants quickly settle into their new environment.
During the first week or so you may need to water daily or every other day depending on the weather, soil type and plant’s growing requirements. After that it’s important to keep the soil slightly moist until the plant becomes established in the garden. For most perennials and shrubs, that usually occurs after the first growing season.
What to Plant
Just about anything growing in a container can be planted in summer, though some plants stand up to summer’s heat better than others. Here’s a list of several tough contenders for summer planting:
Trees: Crape Myrtles are a good choice to plant in the summer because they love to grow roots when the ground is warm. Emerald Green Arborvitae, Thuja Green Giant, White Pine, Red Maple and Japanese Maples can be planted in the summer as well.
Shrubs: Barberry, Boxwood, Hydrangea, Juniper, Japanese Hollies, Euonymus and Roses are but a few.
Perennials: Aster, Catmint, Coneflower, Coreopsis, Daylily, Hardy Geranium, Goldenrod, Plumbago, Salvia, Sedum and Yarrow
Annuals: Celosia, Cosmos, Zinnia, Amarantha, Impatiens and Marigolds are some of our favorites.
Now you know how easy it is to plant in the summertime. So get out there and get to planting!