By Phran Novelli
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Hard to dig? Right now, a lot of us want to plant new trees and shrubs, divide perennials or move overgrown plants. Even though we’ve had some rain, the ground can be hard and dry depending on the day, so, sometimes before you reach for your shovel, your first tool for digging may be your hose.
Moisten the ground around plants, and let it soak in completely; then, go back a few hours later to dig. Don’t make a mud puddle – that’s not only messy for you, it’s also bad for your plants, since walking in wet soil smushes oxygen out of the ground that plants need.
By dampening the soil ahead of time – such as the day before or early in the morning to move a plant later in the day – you give the earth a chance to loosen up enough that you can slice through with a spade and remove plants quickly – it even helps with weeding. With looser soil, roots give way more easily, dividing plants and bulbs goes faster, and you’ll be able to work with less trauma to your plants, your garden, and your back.