HOW TO PLANT

In SIX 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!!

SUPPLIES YOU WILL NEED:

  • Round point shovel – to dig hole
  • Tarp or wheelbarrow – to put soil on to keep your grass neat
  • Pair of pruners or a sharp knife. This will be used to score the roots of the plant or to cut the burlap and twine of balled & burlap plants.
  • Fertilizer – We use BioTone Starter Plus.
  • Mulch – to keep the soil moist and plant healthy plus keep weeds down.
  • Garden Hose or Watering Can – all plants need to be watered.

1.  DIG THE HOLE. No deeper than the root ball and about 16″ wider than the container (so you can tamp soil around root ball with your foot). Use your shovel handle to measure root ball and the hole.

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 pruners or knife to loosen or cut the roots.  Place container in the hole.

Don’t have a container but balled & burlap (B & B)?  See Below.

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.  MULCH. Place three to four inches of mulch around the base of the tree or shrub.  Do not volcano the mulch around the base.  You are going to create a bowl as a water reservoir.  High on the outer sides, low in the middle next to trunk.

6.  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.

Balled & burlap (B & B)Here are your instructions:

  1. DO NOT REMOVE the burlap or cage.
  2. Place root ball in the hole about an inch or two above ground level. Helps with settling later.
  3. Straighten and set the plant in the desired direction (sometimes root balls are not flat on bottom or makes the shrub/tree appear crooked, you need to adjust for this).
  4. 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. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS. 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.
  5. PLANT THE PLANT. No deeper than the root ball, up about 1 to 2 inches above ground level.  Backfill with the soil you took out when you dug the hole, firmly tamping the soil with your foot. 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.

    You will backfill the hole to about half to 2/3rds, cutting the twine from the trunk. You will also cut the burlap around the trunk down to the top of the cage. Continue backfilling

  6. MULCH. Place three to four inches of mulch around the base of the tree or shrub.  Do not volcano the mulch around the base.  You are going to create a bowl as a water reservoir.  High on the outer sides, low in the middle next to trunk.
  7. 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.

4 thoughts on “HOW TO PLANT

  1. Do you have English Boxwoods?

    I am looking for 8 that are about 10 to 12 inchs high. What is the cost if picked up at your location?

    • John,

      Yes, we have English Boxwoods and they are 10 to 12 inches high. They are $19.99 each plus tax.

      Thank you for your inquiry. Give me a call if you would like to reserve them. 540-436-3130

      Lynne Phillips
      Manager
      Natural Art Garden Center

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