Dirty hands are good for the soul. No really, it’s true. I heard on Radiolab or some other source that the good bacteria and other life found in soil can work in tandem with your body to elevate mood and make you a calmer more pleased with yourself person. It is so true! I’m never happier than when i’m covered in mud, planting something. So, yesterday i was at my happiest thanks to a literally groundbreaking and milestone setting event: i planted my first plant!
I used a sheet mulching method to plant this little shrub. The idea is to remove as much competition from the surrounding grass as possible, without having to till up a hundred feet of hedgerow.
- Scalp the grass. Using a hoe or shovel dig/scrape the top layer of grass including it’s roots in a 3 footish wide circle around where you’re planting
- Dig a hole and amend it. I used some well composted manure from our barn. Dig the hole about twice as wide and deep as the pot you’re planting then work the amendment in with some fluffy soil at the bottom. Be sure and open up the roots in the pot so that they don’t stay root bound. Prune roots if necessary.
- Place the shrub/tree in the hole and flare out the roots in all directions. Scoop in loose soil around the sides and on top. Lift plant up slightly by the trunk (CAREFULLY!) and tamp the soil in around the sides lightly.
- Place cardboard or newspaper in a layer around the tree, being careful to leave at least 6 inches clear from the trunk to the mulch layer to prevent rodents from chewing on the trunk.
- Cover paper with compost and then some hay. Voila!
1 Coyote Brush, a native shrub marks the first plant in the ground on the Rommel homestead. The first in a perennial hedgerow along our road and the first of a native beneficial insect habitat planted by little ole me. Good bye, Scotch Broom and hello Coyote Brush, Douglas Spirea, Tall Oregon Grape and Red Flowering Current! I also sheet mulched the corner of our drive in prep for fall planting of wild flowers and heather. I’m a wild flower fiend and can’t wait to cover my new home with native flowers and herbs plus shrubbier heathers, sages, lavenders and rosemaries. And maybe some bulbs for good measure. 😉