GUEST BLOG: Planting Trays-part 2 by Ron Hoess

Once the tray for the front garden was constructed Katy could plan where she was going to put various plants.  One item that we needed to deal with is paths that lead back to the tea shop and to the front of the Cotswold cottage.  From past experience building stone paths on top of potting soil does not work well.  After figuring out where we wanted the paths to go, we cut out from 1 1/2″ thick insulation a piece in the shape of our paths.  This was fitted in the tray and fits tight enough so that glue is not necessary.  Later after the plants are happily growing we will go back and put our stone surface on top of the insulation. Having the insulation in place Katy could begin planting.  A thin layer of crushed stone is first put in the bottom to allow for some drainage from the soil. The tray is then filled with  potting soil mix (potting soil, worn castings, milled sphagnum moss) till it reaches the top edge of the tray.  Plants that need the most time to settle in or to be trained in certain shape are planted first.  As you can see, these just planted little specimens are looking slightly disheveled and cranky. Space is left for more delicate plants that will be planted later.  In the photo, you can see some cardboard where fences and walls will be.  Plants will be encouraged to grow up this cardboard, which will be removed and replaced with the appropriate structure right before the show.  That way we aren’t watering and misting Sculptamold structures for two months!



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