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The Frugal Gardener

I'm a Tosa resident and gardener for 40 years who loves to save money. I'm the daughter of Maryalice Koehne, an award- winning garden writer. Gardening is holistic and can be inexpensive, let me tell you the deals I've found.

Plant Positioning

Just a quick note on plant positioning.



One of the challenges of gardening is deciding where to plant a new item. I am the type of person who often pops things into the ground in a spot only to later realize that it doesn't quite work. To avoid frequent transplanting, set your new find in a spot and let it settle for a few days. Move it around and see where you really like it. This is particularly true for shrubs and trees.



It is also really important to read the tags to see what conditions your new plant requires and what to expect from the mature plant. Too often we select an inappropriate place only to have less desirable results or in some cases, killing a pricy piece. This is not only an issue for the untrained or homeowner but you see it with designs as well. Don't get me wrong, I believe anyone can be an excellent gardener without formal training. My training has been quite informal and largely self-study but it is my passion. For bigger early impact a design may stipulate that certain items should be moved after a few years. It is also healthy for your perennials to divide. Try to do this in early spring or fall for best results. Water morning and night or anytime you see droop.



Before leaving the garden center group items on the ground close together to see if they work. Ask the staff for ideas or reliability in our zone. Try to find items grown in Wisconsin if possible as it can make a difference especially with some varieties. Have fun with it. If a plant doesn't look quite right move it but try to avoid moving it more than once a year and try not to do it in the hot dry part of our growing season. So many plants are lost through frequent uprooting.



Be patient if a plant indicates that it is a slow grower or may not bloom for a few years such as creeping or climbing hydrangeas, give it a chance it will be well worth it. Know when a plant is unhappy: when mature, if it doesn't look like the picture on the tags you've either saved or left in the ground, it needs a change or perhaps it needs fertilizer.



 Don't pull the trigger too soon on a plant. If you cut the root and it is still white, it is alive. I've pulled countless plants out of peoples yard waste. I have an small infirmary area or small plant area where I'm bringing things along.



I'm currently deciding where to place a great little white pine and a service-berry shrub. In the other grouping below, I need a plant with a lighter and our darker foliage. The dappled willow almost died last summer as I was up north and must of failed to communicate the need for excessive water with my yard boy (husband). It is now loving its new home but it may be getting crowded as in maturity it should be 4-6 feet high and about the same spread or that is how I'll prune it. Instead of moving the shrub, I'll move the ferns and dived the hostas as dividing is overdue.



Moving plants positions, giving them a few days in a spot to see if you really like it can save you time and money later on.




White Pine:

Perennial Plant Positioning


Dappled Willow 



Baby Burning Bush:




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