Planting in 3s - spacing

pokhimpokhim Posts: 210

Hi There,

I am somewhat confused about plant spacing. The wife went to the nursery and bought 150 plants for our new garden...but I am relatively inexperienced.

The lady at the nursery said that you can plant 3 of these together for maximum impact. However when I read up on the spacing or size of plants.. i dont quite see how you can plant 3 right next to each other?..

Are you able to plant 3 lavenders literally right nxt to each other or will they crowd out?

If it says space plants 18 inches apart, can you still stick other plants between them?

Last edited: 28 July 2016 16:17:51


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 13,622

    Lavender I would plant the three in a triangle a foot apart. Generally it depend on the pot size. If they have come in six inch pots, plant as a triangle with a foot in between to allow each plant to  spread. If they are smaller plants in smaller pots, plant closer together.That gives the effect of a larger plant maybe two or three years older. Very often what you think are larger plants that you buy from the garden centre are three cuttings in a pot grown on to look like a larger plant.

    Do not stick other plants between them.

    If you are going for a prairie effect, then  you matrix the plants with a larger space between them, so one flush of flowers is followed by a later flush of something else, and you cut the first lot down.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 17,937

    You need to check the final spread of each plant so, for example, if you have a plant that says spread 30cms and you plant three together they need to be spaced 30cms apart so they can fill out their space without being crowded.    If your goal is to  fill the beds quickly to keep weeds down you can plant a little closer but you will then, sooner or later, have to referee and remove some to let the others have the space they need to grow well.

    Before you plant anything, make sure the new beds have been well prepared with all weeds dug out and the soil improved will well rotted manure or compost to help with moisture retention in dry spells and - strange as it may seem - drainage in wet spells.

    Then set out the plants in their pots so you can see whether your planting scheme works - contrasts of leaf shape, texture, size and colour.   Ditto with the flowers.   When you do plant, put things in at the same depth they were in their pot and make sure you first plunge each pot in a bucket of water to ensure the root ball is thoroughly damp before planting.   Water the whole bed thoroughly when done and make sure they get watered in dry spells till the plants have established themselves and can cope on their own. 


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,823

    The idea is to space them so that they grow together in a large clump to give maximum visual impact so there would be no point in putting other plants in between them. The basic rules are, plant in groups of 3 or 5 or 7 (i.e. never an even number) and space the plants according to species/variety. Think of the planting as a triangle with one plant at each point. Plants in the wild don't grow in straight lines so unless you are going in for a formal 16th century garden, plant in clumps to give a more natural look.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 17,937

    Rates of growth depend on where you are - temps, rainfall, wind - and the soil you have - fertile, poor, alkaline, neutral, well-drained etc - which is why good soil preparation is key before planting anything.

    Since your wife already has all the plants, you'll need to play with grouping them according to height, leaf texture and form, foliage colour and flowers and also season of performance.   This autumn you can plant spring bulbs between them to extend the season of interest.

    Once you've got it all planted make sure you water them in well and keep them watered in dry spells until mid to late September.  One good soak a week is better than a dribble every day.   This will give them a chance to get their roots down and established - assuming she has bought perennials.  If they're annuals, they'll still need watering but will all have to come out at in autumn as they'll have done their thing and won't come back.   If there are foxgloves and other biennials, they'll come back and flower next year and then die but you can scatter the seed to get more for the following years.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • pokhimpokhim Posts: 210

    Thanks for all your advice. I've done a huge amount of work so far and all the plants are arriving on Saturday. I'm planting the herb garden on Saturday and then the rest over the weekend. 

    I've already incorporated lots of organic well rotted horse manure into nearly all the beds. 

    So the bed on the left hand side is where my lavender, rosemary and herbs are going. image



  • pokhimpokhim Posts: 210

    I'll put a couple more pictures up as soon as the herb section has been planted..

    I have 10 lavender (3 different types of purple and 1 arctic white),3 upright rosemary and 21 different herbs including sage, fennel, basil, oregano.. I

    I guess I'll put the lavenders in group of three as a triangle, then with a rosemary in between them. I'll put the fennel towards the back so it arches over the plants. 

    Should I be putting all the other herbs in groups of 3 aswell..or will the be okay as singles? I guess it depends on having a repeating pattern or not..?

  • pokhimpokhim Posts: 210
    Verdun says:

    Pokhim, I wouldnt put the rosemary in the middle of those lavendars.  The rosemary will simply crowd out the lavendar.  Put the lavendar together as a group and they will look superb.  Rosemary gets pretty big image

    See original post

    Sorry.. I meant 3 lavenders in a triangle, then 1 rosemary, then 3 lavenders, then 1 rosemary...etc. I didn't mean put the rosemary in between the triangle.

    Will my pattern look ok?

    Last edited: 29 July 2016 13:03:18

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