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Help or I'm going to be in the doghouse

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Apr 17, 2013, 01:14 AM
Help or I'm going to be in the doghouse
I really messed this one up! My wife ordered different perennial flowers to plant in her new garden. All of the flowers except one were shipped bare-root. She left Monday for a business conference and will be back home on Friday. Our four year old son and I really wanted to surprise Mom, so I dug the bed, prepared the soil, then planted her flowers on Monday the 15th.

I was about to toss the paperwork that came with the plants in the trash and something caught my eye. Since the roots looked like the dead end of the plant, I placed the alive yellow looking sliver in the ground. I jumped on You Tube and watched someone demonstrating how to plant a bare root plant. It’s confirmed I PLANTED HER LILLIES UPSIDE DOWN!

As I mentioned, I planted her flowers on Monday evening . I didn’t water them on Tuesday the 16th because the soil was still visibly damp/wet from when I planted/watered them, plus it rained on Sunday and the ground was damp when I plowed it.

Please laugh at my stupidity if you must, but please tell me I can dig her flowers up and replant them correctly! Each flower was planted, them I made a mound around what I now know is the roots. One-half inch of the roots are above ground. I would be outside replanting them now if it wasn’t 1:00 AM.

Help, please tell me what to do.
Apr 17, 2013, 02:17 AM
sure, no harm no foul. first take a deep breath & realize every one makes this mistake at least once in their gardening chores. just go out tomorrow & take them out one at a time & turn them over & then replant them. since they are freshly put in, the plants won't even know the difference. just remember that the roots are the stringy dark brown parts & they go underground. any green or yellow parts go above ground. no problem, you didn't do anything that can't be fixed.

cheryl hill
Apr 17, 2013, 03:11 AM
Thanks aggiegrad. I drove myself nuts trying to think of a way to re-hydrate the roots. Since the plants have been in the soil for a short period of time, I did go out and pulled them up, dirt and all. I read where you can’t soak (completely submerge) the plant for more than an hour due to the lack of oxygen, so I wrapped 4 or 5 plants together in damp paper towels and placed them in a bucket. I did snip off a small piece of root on a couple of the plants and they are still green on the inside. At 7:30 AM Wednesday, my son and I will replant Mom’s flowers the correct way. Everyone say a prayer.

Guess I better stick to cutting the grass.
Apr 17, 2013, 05:07 PM
B l e ss your heart. At least you tried. That's more than anyone in my family would have done. They would have let them die. They are not as fond of plants as I am.
Apr 17, 2013, 06:48 PM
vera ellen
Oh my, I love this's funny...and Bless Your Heart for trying to be helpful. Follow Aggiegrads advice and you (and the lilies) will be just fine. They are hardy and can take a lot of abuse.

Apr 17, 2013, 08:11 PM
Pls let your wife know what you did. She will laugh then kiss you for being so sweet as to do all that for her.
Apr 18, 2013, 02:00 PM
My husband would have done the same thing, he doesn't know one end from the other either when it comes to planting bulbs, tubers, corms or rhizomes. I'm just glad he does the hard part, digging and turning the soil and heavy lifting.

You had great intentions, I'm sure the bulbs will be just fine.

Whether You Think You Can Or You Think You Can't..... You're Right - Henry Ford
Apr 19, 2013, 02:28 AM
thanks for the back~up ya'll. I'm just glad I could help.

cheryl hill
Apr 19, 2013, 07:59 AM
silly bird
Your DW is very lucky to have a guy like you!!!
You ask instructions very unsual for a man Smile
Good luck.

Apr 19, 2013, 10:35 PM
Thanks everyone for your kind words and assistance. Her plants were back in the ground by 7:00 AM on Wednesday morning. They performed beautifully, and just in time. All have sprouted from the ground (some single, some double sprouts). I wish I knew what they were doing underground! I now know what end of a bare root goes into the ground! We’re suppose to have hard rains tonight, so if they don’t make it, I’ll blame it on the rain!

Our son could hardly contain himself when Mom got home to show her the garden. With his favorite green frog rain boots on, and my wife with her umbrella, together they went out to inspect her new garden. I stood on the back porch and got some really great pictures of him showing Mom what he did. At four years old, he gets so excited about everything, and I was able to capture his enthusiasm on film. To heck with the flowers, I’m sure there’s more where they came from, but the pictures . . . they are priceless!

This message has been edited. Last edited by: onebigdummy,
Apr 20, 2013, 08:05 AM
patty louise
I love a happy ending!

My 1900s farmhouse:

My gardens:
Apr 21, 2013, 10:44 AM
that's awesome! I'm glad I could help out. I hope your wife was happy with all you & your son did. maybe she'll let you help out more this summer, now that she knows you know what you're doing. good luck to you. you can always post those shots here if you want to.

cheryl hill
Apr 23, 2013, 02:38 PM
That is a great story - you must post pics once they're up and growing.