Simple Solutions to Garden Problems

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Difficulty: Beginner

 

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Shrubs and vines pack a powerful punch and are an easy solution to garden challenges. They fill blank spaces, add texture and bring height to areas in need.

Some shrubs, like rhododendrons, forsythia, hydrangeas, and Rose of Sharon, have showy, eye-catching flowers. Evergreens like Alberta spruce, juniper, and false cypress add rich green, blue or gold foliage that provides interest in the winter garden.

Vines like clematis and honeysuckle are fragrant and are also magnets for butterflies and hummingbirds. You can plant shrubs and vines almost anytime, as long as the ground isn’t frozen or wet. Or, you can plant them in a container for an added focal point.

Before you go shopping, check to see how much sun your garden spot gets throughout the day and if the location is dry or wet. It is important to select the right blooming shrub or vine for your growing conditions.

How to Plant a Shrub:

  • Remove weeds, rocks, twigs and grass from your planting spot.
  • Dig a hole twice as wide as and a bit deeper than the shrub’s container.
  • Mix some compost into the soil.
  • Fill the hole with water and let it soak in.
  • Take the shrub out of its pot and gently loosen the roots. Set the shrub into the hole no deeper than it was already growing.
  • Replace the soil and firmly pat it down, forming a saucer around the hole to prevent runoff.
  • Water the shrub.
  • Apply 2”-3” of mulch. Keep it away from the stems, which can breed pests and diseases. Do not volcano mulch.

How to Plant a Vine:

  • Choose a location that has a natural trellis, a fence or post, or purchase an arbor. Vines naturally grow vertically and need support.  
  • Remove weeds, rocks, twigs and grass from your planting spot.
  • Dig a hole twice as wide as and a bit deeper than the plant’s container.
  • Mix compost into the garden bed and add amendments if needed. If planting in a container, use a potting soil mixture with moisture control.
  • Fill the hole in your garden bed with water and let it soak.
  • Take the vine out of its pot and gently loosen the roots. Set the vine into the garden bed hole or container no deeper than it was already growing.
  • Replace the soil and firmly pat it down.
  • Water the plant.
  • Apply 2”-3” of mulch. Keep it away from the stems, which can breed pests and diseases. Do not volcano mulch.

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