In FIVE easy steps, you will be a successful planter.  Fall is a great time to plant trees, shrubs, and perennials.  The weather is cooler and the plants do not need watering every day.  Several easy steps & you will be a successful tree planter!!

1.  DIG THE HOLE. No deeper than the container and about 16″ to 24″ wider than the container.

2.  TAKE PLANT OUT OF CONTAINER. You need to score the roots if they are running around in a circle – rootbound.  This means using your fingers or a tool to loosen the roots.

3.  FERTILIZE. We fertilize at time of planting and each year depending on the plant (tree or shrub).  We use Bio-Tone Starter (3-4-4).  It has beneficial bacteria, Mycorrhizae – all of which produces feeder roots.  You don’t want to use anything that is water-soluble as your only fertilizer (most water-soluble fertilizers are High in NPK – 20-20-20, this produces top growth but not so much in the root department).  Low & slow.

4. PLANT THE PLANT. No deeper than the container.  Backfill with the soil you took out when you dug the hole.  If your soil has lots of rocks or needs to be amended, use compost, no more than a 50/50 blend.  We use Leafgro Compost as our amender.

5.  WATER. Water your plants.  You will need to water for the next year.  During the fall and into winter, you water until the ground freezes.  In the summer, you will need to water more.  The only way to know if your plants need water is to do the finger test.  Stick your finger in the ground and if it is dry, water.  If wet, check in another day or two.

If you ever have any questions during planting or after, please call me at 540-436-3130.  I will be happy to answer your questions and walk you through what you need to do.  If your plants are under stress or not looking so great, please call.  It is easier to revive a stressed plant than a dead plant.

As a side note, almost all plants that end up dying are for one reason – water.  Either too much or not enough.  Some don’t water long enough into the season.  When establishing new plants, you need to be mindful of their water requirements.  You might have to keep a check on them for an entire year or more.  This is dependent upon your weather patterns, soil conditions, site drainage, wind, etc.


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