Perennials are the old faithfuls of the garden, returning year after year. Set them up for success-after-success by planting them well.
Unlike annuals and tender patio plants, herbaceous perennials come up year after year. Many modern varieties need little maintenance other than deadheading and cutting back in spring. Give them a good start by improving the soil at planting time and minimize competition for water and nutrients by controlling weeds.
It should take you less than an hour to plant a perennial.
Prepare the planting area, removing perennial weeds and large stones. On dry ground or heavy clay, work in organic matter. On sandy soil, also apply a general fertilizer.
Dig a hole a bit deeper and wider than the pot. After soaking the plant in water, remove the pot. Add soil to the hole so that the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Backfill and firm soil lightly with your hands.
Water thoroughly. Apply a thick mulch to conserve moisture, suppress weeds and protect roots from penetrating frosts. Take precautions against slugs and snails, and watch for aphids on shoot tips.
Excerpted from Garden Design
©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009