The best thing for potted plants--newly bought, or bare root plants shipped in--is to get them into the soil as soon as possible.
Roses and other plants can be soaked in a large barrel, either filled with rainwater or with stored water. I use so much rainwater for first aid that I tend to run low.
When water is stored for a period of time, the chlorine evaporates out, which helps the plants. That was my mother's trick at school. She had the best plants at Garfield and Coolidge, but never gave away her secret. Now you know.
Large retail stores sell plants like popcorn and those plants are not in the best condition. They should be soaked before planting too.
Any plant in a pot is going to be root-bound, so planting it in the soil is going to be like changing from formal clothes to sweats.
|One of my roses is named Fireworks - and the name fits.|
This is baby Danielle.
- After soaking the pots, I place them where I might plant them.
- In hope, I dig into the soil with my magic tree-root finding shovel. If I do not strike roots at first, I find them later. I often dig a wide hole to get an area where I can dig deeper.
- Giant branch trimmers make good root cutters, so I use them often, almost every hole dug.
- Once the unpotted plant is in the hole and level, I find clumps of sod and weeds and place them upside-down in the hole. That is the compost contribution. Never cry "Weeds!" when they are so handy for fertilizer.
- I use the hose to water the area gently, which moves the soil into place and keeps the dry soil from wicking the water away from the recently potted plant.
- I cover the area with packing paper, newspaper, or cardboard and water more.
- If mulch is available, I add wood mulch at this time.
Second Stage - First Aid
Plants are like seeds in the tendency we have to neglect them after planting. Unless it is raining, I assume they need watering daily for a time. Shipped plants and big box retail plants are weakened and need the extra care.
The first priority for rainwater is early morning watering of new and weak plants. This rainwater is a nitrogen boost for greening up the plant. Rainwater lacks the chlorine component that holds plants back. As the farmer say, "Irrigation keeps crops alive. Rain grows them."
I have seen almost dead dill plants spring up after some Intensive Creation Unit care. I have brought laggard roses to life with daily rainwater.
Once I get the complete Jackson Mulch layer on plants, I also want to soak that mulch. This wet blanket will get soil creature activity going and guard against wind erosion and drying out.
Spraying plants with the hose is good in the days following, especially if there is a lot more sun than rain.