Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

Plant Hardy Plants Early

21050503Don’t hesitate to plant hardy plants – perennials, shrubs, trees, conifers, etc. – early, well before the last frost date. After all, these plants can withstand significant frost (always possible in May) and even better, recover more rapidly from transplant shock when the soil is still cool than from plantations at the more traditional planting dates in late May.

Wait while the soil is well drained before planting, though: working in the garden when the soil is still wet can destroy its structure.

For bare-root shrubs and trees, an early planting is even more important: they have to be planted before the foliage starts to expand significantly.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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