Finally, over the last couple of days, the weather has cooled off and we have even had a bit of rain. The forecast is for milder temperatures, for a while at least, so on Sunday I decided to plant one of the trees I bought a few weeks ago from Guildford Town Garden Centre.
Today’s plant is a Chinese crab apple ‘Plena’ which I am planting to give extra shade to a spot that gets badly scorched in summer. It will make for a crowded area but I intend to prune it to keep it fairly small. All this makes it sound like it was a planned buy but it was actually a spur of the moment purchase, one where you think to yourself “I’ll buy it and I’ll make it fit”, well I darn well will. The garden centre has one planted as a display and I saw it in flower last spring – beautiful. Plus my Gardening Neighbour has a pile of crab apple trees and he swears by their drought tolerance.
So I’m now going to pass on my tips and techniques for planting:
1. Run the gauntlet past the paper wasps who have built a nest in the shed to get the spade out.
2. Dig the hole and put aside sand for later use to build castle.
3. Drop in dead rat kindly gifted by anonymous benefactor and left on the back lawn overnight.
4. Add mushroom compost and tree. Mushroom compost is my soil improver of choice. Eventually the plant has to be able to survive in sand but this gives it a booming start. You can use it to plant or mulch and I have slathered it all over the planted areas including under the lawn. Plus there’s the added bonus of the occasional mushroom.
5. Remember that you have forgotten to add slow release fertiliser and scrape bits out so you can put it in as an afterthought.
6. Water well and add more mushroom compost as required when it compacts.
7. Shoo small lizard out of bucket of woodchips and use them to mulch.
Aaah, gardening…it’s the feeling of harmony with nature I love. Happy planting!