Shady, damp areas are often a difficult place to maintain a garden. Coniferous (cone bearing trees) tend to create a rather acid soil environment making plant growth difficult. The soil can be amended with calcium sources. It is better to use decorative mulch, rather than plants under trees. Mulch will prevent root damage to the trees. Under deciduous trees (broad leaf trees) it is not necessarily a desirable place to plant, because of potential root damage to the trees. When you go outside of the drip line (the edge of the branches) the roots are deeper and the soil is less acidic making planting desirable.
Often by looking at a plants foliage, you can tell if it will do well in a damp shady area. Shade plants have large leaves to maximize photosynthesis.
Gardeners look forward to the bright, instant flash of colour annual flowering plants bring to their planters and flower beds. The number of cultivars available to the home or commercial gardener is truly abundant.
To ensure the success of your newly purchased planting materials, it is important to keep them well watered before and after planting. A cool overcast day is ideal, when transferring young ornamentals to their new environment. A hot sunny day will cause additional shock to transplants, leaving plants wilted or scorched. Soil should be tilled up and moist prior to planting. If the soil is excessively heavy or sandy, compost or peat can be incorporated.
These pre-planting additions will aid in the development of new roots. Slow release granular fertilizers can be added at this time. When it comes time to remove plants from their cell packs, loosen or slightly score the roots, this will stimulate growth and spread. If roots are not stimulated they will grow and continue to circle them selves causing reduced over all vigour.
Transplants should be planted level with the soil. If annuals are planted too deep rot can occur and if the root ball is left slightly exposed then plant will dry out excessively. The soil should be lightly tamped and watered throughly.
Water soluble fertilizers can be added after planting, if pre-planting fertilizers have not been previously added. Fertilizers for flowering plants should be high in phosphorus, this is represented by the middle number in a fertilizer ratio. These ratios are always printed on the packaging of any fertilizer.
The single most important factor to ensure the survival of annual plantings is to keep them well watered during their initial establishment. Annual transplants have to be watered daily unless it is raining adequately.
It is a general rule to prune trees while they are dormant to minimize damage and stimulate new growth.
Fruit bearing trees are pruned during dormancy to reduce crop quantity, but increase the fruits quality. This timing will also aid in new bud formation the following year.
Spring pruning should be complete before the buds begin to open. However diseased or damaged branches should be immediately removed. Evergreens do well if pruned right after the wood has had a chance to thaw. To achieve a compact effect on pine trees, pruning should be put off until late June.
Pruning has a dwarfing effect on all trees but more so if it id done in June and July. Flowering trees should also be pruned during the summer after the trees have flowered. If a tree is particularly late flowering it can be pruned in the spring just before active growth begins.
Trees such as Maple or Birch are considered bleeders and should be pruned in the summer, when the leaves are fully formed. Summer time pruning will minimize excessive sap loss.
Late summer and early fall pruning should be left for dead wood only. Any extra pruning at this time before dormancy can stimulate new growth, this growth will not be able to harden off adequately before winter. Damage usually includes cankers and excessive die back. Deciduous trees thrive with a late winter early spring pruning.
If you have taken on the task of building your own bed, you should keep in mind to have at least 12? of top soil. This will be optimal for your plants root systems to grow and flourish. Be sure you use ?Garden Mix? and not just loam to help your plants the proper nutrients for the transition from pots to the ground. Raised beds are recommended because they look beautiful and a good edger will help prevent annoying grass from growing in your beds.