Miniature Gardening: Get Outside and Play
It was when I first moved to Seattle that I found myself looking at my container garden and wanting something to do. The plants were trimmed, watered and fluffed, the pots rearranged, the veggies were fertilized, weeded and growing. There was nothing to do. I wanted to be in my garden doing something creative and playing with plants. It was hot and sunny, but I had the perfect table/umbrella set-up that would suit any tabletop project. I just wanted something to do and to be outside doing it.
Click to enlarge the photos.
Cue: Miniature Gardening
With the sporadic and/or extreme weather across the globe, you might find yourself in the same spot. It’s risky to plant anything in-ground during a heat wave although it is possible (see below.) You can damage the soil by planting when it’s really wet. And, in either circumstance, it’s a bit uncomfortable to be outside too. But you can always put together a container garden or a miniature garden pot and have the satisfaction of a job completed in less than a few hours.
Note that “right plant, right place” still applies to container garden plants too. Choose plants that are at least one to two zones colder than yours. Plants in any kind of pot will be more sensitive to the cold because it doesn’t have the earth to insulate the roots.
How to be Stubborn
If you are stubborn like I am, and choose to plant in extreme heat, it is possible. I’ve had success with this method with all kinds of plants: conifers, perennials, some tougher annuals (like zonal geraniums) and tomatoes so far. In general, the tougher the plant, strong stems, thicker leaves, etc., the more tolerant the plant will be in adapting to its new environment.
- Make sure the plant’s roots are wet. (You can tell by the weight of the pot. If the pot is light, soak it in a bucket of water until the plant sinks.)
- Dig the hole twice the size than you need for the plant’s root ball
- Fill the planting hole up with water, let the water drain into the soil.
- Repeat step 3.
- Pop the pot off the plant, remove all flowers & buds, loosen the roots, plant it.
- Make a trough in the soil to corral the water.
- Soak the plant and soil again with water, fix the corral if you mess it up.
- Shelter the plant with an umbrella.
- Give it regular water to maintain the dampness of the soil and do not let it dry out.
- Once you see new growth of any kind, you’ll know the roots have recovered and are now ready to give energy to leaf and flower production. (A plant can’t do two things at once.)
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