In the olden days planting wisdom said you needed a $5 hole for a fifty cent plant. Inflation is everywhere. Now when I guy my $35 Proven Winners Pinky Winky hydrangea I know I need at least a $50 hole. This was a lesson I gave my daughter last weekend when I learned she was much given to taking out a shovelful of soil, sticking a plant in and considering the job done. My $50 hole is 24 inches square. And it is none too big at that.
I couldn’t show the depth graphically, but this hole is 15 inches deep.
Having a $50 hole means you have room to fill in with good compost that has a little lime added to it. I also always add a handful of rock phosphate and greensand on general principles when I plant.
I mixed the compost with some of the soil and refilled the hole sufficiently so that when I put in the hydrangea the soil level in the pot is just slightly below the soil level in the lawn. Sometimes it will be necessary to loosen the roots of your plant, but this time the roots were not pot bound at all.
As I fill in the enriched soil and tamp it down, I also water well. You’ll notice that I did think ahead and put out a piece of plastic to hold the soil I removed from the hole so that I wouldn’t leave too much of a mess on the lawn.
All done. Pinky Winky joins the oak leaf hydrangea and Limelight that I planted last year. As they mature they will make a 25 foot long hedge of sorts. I am slowly eliminating the lawn around these shrubs so that ultimately they will be underplanted with groundcovers. At the moment I have a swath of barren strawberry that is coming along. Spring bulbs will come up through the ground cover.
Barren strawberry, Waldsteinia, has yellow strawberry-like flowers in May but the foliage is attractive all year long. I bought these native plants at Nasami Farm in Whately which is open Thursday through Sunday into early June.