OFF WITH THEIR HEADS AND STOMP ON THEM
It’s that time of year; the last Saturday in April - Saturday, April 27, 2019 has arrived. It’s time for Lanthier Winery’s gardening crew to dig deep and divide our plentiful perennials during our annual Spring Celebration Festival with class beginning at 11am. It never fails that at least one returning guest will say their plant didn’t grow. So I am forced to diagnosis the failure with ever popular Lanthier Winery perennial transplant quiz. These rules apply whether you transplant or purchase new. If you can pass this test then your flowers will likely survive and thrive.
Did you take a plant in bloom? If you did I told you that made it harder for the plant. Always try to select plants that aren’t ready to bloom or in bloom. Trying to set flowers, while also trying to set roots and make a new home are twice the stress for newly planted annuals and perennials. If you don’t select plants in bloom you won’t have to rip of their heads but you will still have to stomp on them (see #4)
Did you plant it that night or let in cook in your car or by the house before planting? Remember plants need dirt like you need air. See how long you can hold your breath and that’s about as long as plants can go without dirt before stressed too. Get your plants in the ground the same evening you get them. Dirt is the source of a plants nutrients and water.
If you waited to plant, did you plant when the sun was out so you could get a tan and your plants could cook to a crisp or did you plant in the evening? The best time to plant is late evening so your plants don’t have to endure the stress of transplant with the sun beating down on them. Even if you water heavily, you will still likely see wilting and the plant will struggle for a few days if it survives at all. But if you plant in the evening, water well the plant will rest for the next 12 hours of during the cooler evening, night and next morning. Simply water again as the day starts and your plants have a much greater chance to survive.
Did you stomp on your plant- or did you spend more time making the dirt look pretty around the plant? Unless you get the air away from the roots your plant will not survive. Sometimes watering helps but in a transplant it’s always best to step on the soil and be sure your plant is tucked in tight. The only exception to this rule is if it has rained and you are planting in muddy soil. Water forces the air out (which is why worms come to the surface after a hard, heavy storm). You will be amazed the first time you stomp around your plant as to how low the soil level drops. If you want to add additional soil do so once you’ve tamped the dirt securely at least a few inches beyond the circumference of the root ball If You can’t see your foot print you didn’t do your job.
Did you rip of their heads and snatch off long leaves or did you try to force the plant to flower, establish new roots and settle into a new home all at the same time? This is seems to be the most traumatic thing for Spring Celebration guests to witness. There’s always gasps, groans and loud “oh no” when I rip off flower heads and excess leafs. But it’s best to remove flowers on all perennial transplants as well as annuals. Take care of your plants and don’t force them to do too many things, like bloom pretty in a new home after it was ripped out from its happy place. If you need more information on how to rip of heads and stomp on them join us for Spring Celebration Festival. If you can’t make it in April, the gardens are three seasons of bloom. From early spring to late fall the garden has become a Midwest attraction and is open dusk to dawn 365 days a year. To see Lanthier Winery’s Calendar of Events - CLICK HERE