3810 Whites Creek Pike, Nashville, TN 37207 (615) 876-1014

Archive date:  May 19, 2016

Time To Plant

And the weather to go with it!

There are misconceptions about planting and time.  Let’s call it the plant/time continuum. It is a distortion of time with respect to perceived opportunity to plant.  The closer summer approaches, the less perceived time left to plant…right?  In truth, there is no actual plant/time continuum.  Perhaps there was once, back in the days when plants were exclusively field grown. Those plants grown in the ground are typically dug during the dormant season so as to assure survivability after being replanted, thereby avoiding the scourge of transplant shock.

Container grown plants changed all of that.  When plants are container grown, the entire root system has literally been “contained”.  Since no roots are cut when the plant is removed from the container, therefore, no transplant shock.  When transplant shock is removed from the equation, all things are possible.  Plants can now be grown in containers that were extremely difficult otherwise.  Plants such as southern magnolia and pyracantha can now be grown with ease and transplanted successfully any time of year.

ANY time of year? Yes.  Since the ground rarely freezes here, planting is successfully done 12 months a year.  “But if I plant too late, I’ll have to water it all summer!” Yes you will.  Watering all summer also applies to whatever you plant now, last week, last month or last fall.  In fact, gardeners who have the highest success rates do one thing well: water. 

This is the time of year when the question begins to be asked. “When is it too late to plant?”  It seems everyone wants to know “What’s the best time to plant?”.  I usually answer “3:30”.  That normally gets a reaction from whoever is inquiring, and that is exactly what I hope.  First, I am able to discern if they are listening, secondly I am trying to make a point.  For the overwhelming majority of plant items, “time to plant” is as relevant to time of day as time of year; that is to say, not really relevant at all.

Weekend weather looks wonderful,

David Bates