A reader taught me this trick a couple of years ago and it just blew my mind! Here’s my favorite trick for filling garden beds quickly!
Oh my goodness, this is so simple, but just so smart. It’s definitely one of those tricks where it seems like I should have figured it out on my own long ago, but it took a clever reader’s comment to enlighten me. It definitely changed the way I garden and how I buy new plants from the garden centre! If you have a lot of garden space to fill up like I do around here, then you’re going to love this. Here’s the trick for filling garden beds quickly and inexpensively!
Splitting Perennials for Better Garden Design
I am a big fan of splitting perennials. Obviously it’s a free way to increase the number of plants in your garden, but I think it also leads to more beautiful, more cohesively-designed gardens. Once you have a few different types of plants that work well together with different leaf shapes, growing patterns, and colors of green, your best bet is to follow a pattern of repetition. This creates a unified look and gives your garden a sense of rhythm. You could, theoretically, just buy multiples of the same type of plant, but you often don’t figure out the best spot for it or the best pairing for it in the garden until you’ve owned it for awhile, and at that point, it may be hard to find the exact same plant again. And not just any old plant will do. Subtle variations in leaf texture and color can make a big difference.
So this little trick just gives that method of repeating the same plant type over and over again a good boost and makes your garden come together just a bit more quickly and more affordably.
My Trick for Filling Garden Beds
I used to be such a rule-follower in the garden. I would buy my plants from the garden centre, plant them, then wait the requisite 2-3 years before digging them up and diving them. It was a long process, but eventually it did yield me more plants.
(Note to self: The purple of the new salvia with the red leaves from the purple leaf sand cherry in the background make an excellent combo. Will have to remember that for the future!)
So this smart trick just turns that whole process on its head and speeds things up. Here’s what you do:
Buy a perennial from the garden centre and take it out of the pot.
Split it right down the middle. You heard me right. Split it before you plant it! Did you know you can get away with that?
Dig two holes and plant each plant half in a hole like normal.
By the end of the season, each half will have caught up in size and it will be as if you bought two separate plants at the beginning of the season. Then next year you can split them again!
It breaks all the rules and so it’s rebellious and I love it. 🙂 I’ve tried it a few times and it worked like a charm!
MORE IDEAS LIKE THIS
- Affordable Traditional Outdoor Planters
- How to Grow a Perennial Herb Garden
- Growing Your First Grape Vines
- The Secret to Growing Basil Successfully
- How to Fix Leggy Petunias
- The Creek Line House Gardening Archives
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.