Tickle your Roots19th July 2014 • General • Stephanie Donaldson
It’s the time of year when it’s tempting to introduce some colour into the borders while waiting for the late summer blooms to get going. We all do it – and provided you prepare the ground well, water thoroughly and mulch, the plants should settle in well. But when you buy large plants at this time of year they often have a mass of roots on the margins of the root ball even when they aren’t pot bound. It’s a good idea to gently scuff them up so that when you plant, the roots travel out into the surrounding soil rather than continuing to travel round in circles, following the shape of their previous home. I’ve found that Sophie Conran’s hand rake is the perfect tool for the job – at the end of each of its tines there’s a little kick in the opposite direction and these are ideal for gently loosening the roots. My new plants have all been given this treatment and look very happy in their new home.