More planting and transplanting

This morning I decided to finish up the planting project I started a few days ago when I cleared this weedy bed out.

I mentioned that I might put one of my Elephant Ears here, and that's what I'm going to do. I'm also going to dig up some bamboo this morning, because I'm pretty tired and need some good exercise to wake me up (or exhaust me more).

I piled compost in this bed knowing that I'll need it when I plant here, but first I'll take a preview of what this might look like:

I'll be putting the Colocasia esculenta (or "Elephant Ears") here, as well as a purple fountain grass.

You can barely see the grass on the left. It's pretty scrawny right now, but it's got a lot of new shoots and good roots:

The main problem with this bed is it's not been dug before, so it's really heavy clay:

I'll just mix in tons of the compost until it seems like the soil is workable, then put the plants in the ground.

It looks pretty nice, but I'm not completely sure about it right now. I'll see what it looks like in three weeks or so. It may need a few filler plants underneath.

Next up is the bamboo. If you remember, I had some rhizomes escape from one of my raised beds, and I decided to leave the shoots and take them as a division after the culms formed and leafed out. Here's what it looked like:

Now I don't have a photo of the culms before I started digging, mainly because I was sure I had one already so didn't take one. I don't. Only two of the shoots in the above photo matured into culms, and although this isn't really the ideal time to dig divisions, the culms seemed to be hardened enough so I went for it.

My main concern was to remove this now so I could cleanly rhizome prune around the whole plant, and I didn't want these existing rhizomes to spread too much further, since they're going into my neighbor's yard.

This wasn't too hard to get out of the ground, although the culms are about 12 feet tall so moving it was a little tricky.

It's going into one of my large 20 gallon "squat" nursery pots:

Since the rootball is actually smaller than the pot for once, it really wasn't too difficult getting it in there, except I'm having trouble getting the culms to stay as upright as possible.

I'll keep the pot angled somewhat to help with that until more roots and rhizomes grow to help keep things vertical. You can't really tell from this photo, but it's a nice-looking plant:

Usually when you take divisions you'll need to remove some of the branches to reduce the leaf area and cut down on water loss. In this case though I'll leave everything alone and keep an eye on the plant for a few days. If the leaves stay curled most of the time (that's what bamboo leaves do when the plant needs water) even after I water it, I'll have to remove some leaves, usually by removing the top part of the plant ("topping" it).

So far this looks ok with minimal to no leaf curl, so I may not have to remove anything. That's good, because this plant looks really beautiful right now, and cutting off the top would not make it look better!

That's about it for me this morning, as it's been a lot of work. I also seem to have lost my lens cap, although I may have lost it yesterday and just noticed it today. Shoot.

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