The whole idea behind GardenEzi is just what is says – to make gardening easier for ordinary, time-poor householders who want their gardening information in easy bites – or bytes! All the GardenEzi books are written to a Five Step program to suit the e-reader format and they can also be downloaded to PCs, laptops and ipads. And printed out page by page if required.
While most of the books concentrate on one plant type or topic – azaleas, herbs, tropical foliage etc – Great Garden – No Sweat covers a range of topics with one end in view – to help readers create a beautiful garden for the minimum amount of time – just two hours work a week in fact! It is the ultimate easy gardening manual.
E-books are a cheap and excellent way of getting information. However, for gardening books the format is very limiting because of the need to display photographs and sometimes diagrams. That’s why I’m writing a series of articles on this website which will use information and photos from the GardenEzi books – and thus readers will be able to get a better look at some of these photos in larger sizes than is possible in the books, and also in colour. If you already have one of our GardenEzi books, look for articles here on subjects which are of particular interest to you.
Here, for example, is an extract on planting from Great Garden – No Sweat! This will be followed by the No Sweat garden sketch plan and a few photos from the book.
How to plant – the GardenEzi step-by-step guide
Getting your plants well established from the start saves a lot of time and trouble down the track. So follow our GardenEzi planting guide to make sure everything you put in the ground is going to stay there and flourish
Trees and shrubs
* If the plant comes in a pot, first soak the pot to moisten the roots and loosen the mix. If the plant is bare rooted, soak in lukewarm water overnight before planting.
* Dig a hole that’s the same depth as the pot and twice its width all round
* Square the corners a bit to help roots spread outwards
* Mix compost (or a good quality potting mix) with the soil taken from the hole; about the same amount of each. Crumble some of this mixture in the bottom of the hole. Don’t bother to do this if your soil is already nice and crumbly and full of worms – the new plant will thrive very happily for a while without any extra effort from you.
*Gently remove the plant from the pot and place it in the hole. If the roots are bound tightly around each other, gently loosen by running the hose over them. Make sure the top of the root ball is level with or even just slightly higher than the surrounding ground, to ensure your young plant won’t get waterlogged. If the root ball is wrapped in burlap (hessian), loosen but don’t remove it when planting (however any non-organic wrapping MUST be removed).
* Hold plant in place while filling the hole with water, almost to the top. Allow the water to drain completely.
* Now backfill with the soil taken from the planting hole, firming it around the roots as you go. Once the hole is filled and the plant in place, at just the right level with the surrounding ground and with its stem nice and straight, firm down the soil around the base.
* Make a shallow depression all round the plant so that rain or hose water won’t run off.
* Water thoroughly. A dose of liquid fish or seafood fertilizer will help the plant cope with planting stress and any sudden weather extremes such as high temperatures or drying winds.
* Mulch with a fairly coarse organic material such as hay, straw, nutshells, good quality green waste, fine bark or pine needles.
Flowers and herbs
* First make sure that the growing bed has been thoroughly dug over to a depth of at least 12 ” (30cm) and there are no large clods of earth or stones.
* Follow the same basic principal as for trees and shrubs, though of course the holes will be smaller to suit the size of the plant. If planting several of the same species in a pattern, or for a border, follow the spacing recommended on the label.
* Water gently, backfill and firm the soil around the plant, then water again.
* Mulch with a fine organic material such as hay or straw.
Remember this! If you have used a weed suppressing material such as plastic sheeting or newspaper you will have to make holes through it before planting. Always leave enough space around the new plant so that water can reach the soil.
The No Sweat! basic garden plan