New Planting Experience

These two weeks I had the opportunity to plant a ground cover, vinca, and a lilac bush at Longfellow House – Washington Headquarters National Historic Site. This is my first proper planting experience. The vinca was much simpler to plant so I’ll start with that. The only tool I used was a soil knife. I dug a hole that is big enough to hold the root-ball and placed the root-ball into the hole. Then I covered the root-ball with some earth so that the soil line of the vinca reached ground level and tamped down the soil with my fingers. Last but not least, I watered them. Planting the lilac bush had a bit more to it but it is pretty similar.

1 DIG A HOLE twice as wide and twice as deep as the pot.
2 REMOVE the (lilac) bush’s ROOTS from the pot.
3. BRANCH OUT (/part) THE ROOTS shaped by the pot.
-Cut an inch thick cylinder from the bottom of the (lilac) roots and make pie-like cuts along the bottom also an inch thick so it is easier to pull that cylindrical part off.
-Pull the cylindrical piece off.
-Cut through roots along the sides of the soil all around and take out any bent roots that have grown downwards due to the lack of space in the pot at the part where it started to bend.
4. PLACE the ROOT-BALL in the hole.
5. MATCH THE SURFACE of the soil to ground level.
6. SHOVEL soil back into the hole and use a mini shovel to tamp down the soil.
7. FORM A BERM around the (lilac) bush.
8. WATER the (lilac) bush until it puddles around the berm.

The technique to branch out/ part the roots is to make sure that the roots will not continue growing in the shape of the pot and the berm improves the way water will run into the soil. I am glad to have learned these new techniques because I can now plant a shrub properly. Hopefully I will have more opportunities to do this again throughout the summer because I think it is quite exciting.


7 responses to “New Planting Experience

    • They do apply to other plants, such as boxwood, which we are planting. But we don’t need to form a berm so I think that is a technique for bushes. We also don’t need to cut the roots up as much either because it’ll stress the boxwood too much. Glad to know you liked my instructions.


    • The lilacs are really old and this one looked sick so it might have been a disease in the roots that they made them decide to prune the roots, which made it do worse the next spring.


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