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                 Planting Guide



Planting Guidelines:

Transporting & Preparation for Plants:- when bringing plants home, always protect from wind and sun. If required, wrap the leaves with tarp or burlap.  **Leaves sticking out of a trunk being blown by wind - will wilt and make the plant look dead!!  Upon arriving home - water the plants immediately.  If you are not planting that day - place in a wind protected area and keep watered every day until planted.  Handle the plants carefully, always carry by holding the pot or root ball.  Never pick up a plant by it's branches!  When you are ready to plant, be sure to place in the preferred growing environment.  Find out how big the plant grows at mature size - and find out if it likes sun, shade, moist soil, clay soil, well drained soil, acidic soil, etc.!

Size of Planting Hole: - It is very important to dig the width and depth of planting hole a least 8" - 10" inches larger than the root ball (pot size)  - (especially in hard or clay soils) - to allow for soil amendments.  Add new organic soil in bottom of hole to bring up to the proper height.  Be sure to pack down the new soil in the bottom of the hole to prevent deep settling - **if the plant settles too deep - it will get too much water at the roots and it will die!  The finished level of the top of the root ball - (the existing top of soil level in pot) - should be 2" to 3" inches higher than the surrounding ground level.  It will eventually settle and be even with ground level.  - see photo below.

Balled & Burlap (BB) or Wire Basket (WB): - Many trees, shrubs & evergreens have the root-ball wrapped in burlap and are secured with twine, rope or a wire basket. These types of root-ball's must be planted - just the way they are! - The burlap, rope, and /or wire basket all get buried under ground.  Taking the wire basket off will disturb the soil and roots and will usually cause the plant to go into shock.  It is very important Not to Disturb the soil around roots of plants. (exception is for a decidious plant - only when it is dormant - Never Evergreens - Never disturb any root-ball during hot weather!)  Prepare the hole as described above.  When the root-ball is at the proper height, fill around the root-ball with a good organic soil mix - fill the hole about half way up - then water to pack down firmly. Untie any twine or burlap that is around the main stem of tree.  Fold down any loose burlap into the hole.  If there is a wire basket - cut off any twine and fold down the top loops of wire into the hole. **Leave the wire basket on the plant!**  Fill the remainder of the planting hole with good organic soil and water thoroughly to pack down firmly.  The next day after planting water again thoroughly using a Root Stimulating Transplant Fertilizer! 

Fibre Pots: - These pots Must stay on the plant when planting! - We can Not over stress the importance of leaving the fibre pot on.  These pots are made of paper and with proper of watering  - they will rot away. Taking the fibre pot off will usually disturb the roots and will usually cause the plant to go into shock.  It is very important Not to Disturb the soil around the roots of plants.  (Exception is for a decidious plant only when it is dormant - Never Evergreens - and Never disturb any root - ball during Hot weather!)  The top rim of the fibre pot should be cut off level with the soil in the pot, and the sides of the pot should be lightly scored with a utility knife - Do Not cut all the way through the pot!  Prepare the planting hole as described above.  The existing soil level in the pot should be left 2" to 3" inches above surrounding grade.  Fill the hole around the pot with a good organic soil and water thoroughly to pack down firmly.  The next day after planting water again thoroughly using a Root Stimulating Transplant Fertilizer!

Plastic Pots:  Plastic pots must be removed before planting.  Prepare the planting hole as described above in "size of planting hole".  Sometimes a light watering makes it easier to remove the plant from the plastic pot.  If needed - gently squeeze the sides of pot and tap down on the rim of pot to help get the plant out.  Always try not to disturb the root - ball as much as possible.  Sometimes if a plant has been grown in a pot too long it will become root bound (a lot of roots have grown in a circular direction and are really tightly bound together).  If this is the case - cut the plastic pot off with a sharp utility knife - usually making 3 cuts around the pot from top to bottom and then spreading open - will get the pot off.  If the roots are pot bound - you need to gently loosen them before planting.  Using your fingers and pull apart the roots on the outer edge of the root - ball.  On severe pot bound roots use a clean utility knife and make 4 or 5 cuts at 1 inch depth all the way around the root - ball.  The existing soil level in the pot should be left 2" to 3" inches above the surrounding grade.  Fill the hole around  the pot with a good organic soil and water thoroughly to pack down firmly.  The next day after planting water again thoroughly using a Root Stimulating Transplant Fertilizer!

After Care Of Trees & Shrubs: All trees and tall shrubs Must be Staked Up for a minimum of One Year!!!  Staking of plants helps them grow straight, but more important, it prevents damage of newly developed roots during high wind storms.  Use good wood posts or metal posts with tree ties.  Do not tie twine or wire directly on the bark - this will eventually cut into the bark and cause damage!  Stakes should be at least one and a half feet (1 1/2') underground to give proper support.  It is good to add a 3" layer of mulch on top of the root - ball.  Mulch gives a nice finished appearance, it helps to keep the roots moist during hot weather, it protects against frost in winter, and it helps to keep out weeds.  It is not good to let grass or weeds grow to close to the plant.  If grass is allowed to grow right up to the trunk of a tree or shrub - the grass will take water and nutrients that should be going to the tree.  If flowers are grown directly close to tree trunks, extra care must be given to make sure that the tree is getting water to it's roots.  Mulch comes in many forms - shredded wood of several colors, bark chunks, decorative stone of many colors.  If you use stone - it is recommended to use a fabric cloth to prevent weed growth.  Also, using a border to hold the mulch in, creates a nice finished look to the plant.  The first week after planting - Plants Should be Watered everyday!!  - The second day using a Stimulating Transplant Fertilizer!!  The first year after planting It is very important to Water Regularly!!  Proper watering in the first year helps to develop a good root system which will carry the plant on for it's life.  In the spring and fall (cooler weather)  a really good soak twice per week is usually good.  During the Hot Summer months - plants need a good soak three to four times per week!  Also Deep watering promotes deep well developed roots, which results in plants that are more drought tolerant.  In second and later years - plants usually get enough water from rain - but they will always grow and look better if water and fertilizer is added.  Feed trees and shrubs four times per year between April 1 and June 30.  It is Not good to feed in hot summer months and Never feed after September 1.  Some types of plants require Winter Protection - use tree guards and / or burlap.  A winter wind blowing against plants that face the north sun in winter will cause the most damage.  Also if pets or rodents (rabbits, mice) are a problem - take necessary precautions.  Pets that constantly urinate on a plant will cause the plant to die.

Special Care For Special Plants:  Roses - most roses are grafted on hardy root stocks.  The grafted area (a swollen knob like area near the bottom of plant) should be planted two inches below the soil level.  Each year, after the first frost - mound up soil and / or mulch on rose.  Rhododendron, Azalea, Hydrangea, Broadleaf Evergreens, Blueberry:- for best results these plants should be fertilized with acidic type food.  Except for blueberry these plants need shade - they will Not survive in hot full sun areas. It is good to spray these plants in late fall with Anti-Dessicant.   Fruit Trees: - fruit trees must have good drainage - the planting hole must be properly prepared - they will die it the roots sit in standing water.  In early spring - fruit trees must be sprayed with dormant oil mix.  For the best fruit production - proper pruning, feeding, watering, and insect  & disease prevention is a must!!  Japanese Maples: -  avoid hot full sun areas,  jap. maples like partial sun with wind protection.  In the Winter It is very good to protect with a burlap fence.

Year End Watering:-  In late fall, just before the ground freezes, it is very good to water all plants heavily, this protects the roots from cold, dry soil.

Perennials: -  Most perennials should be cut back in the spring.  The dried out foliage above ground provides some protection against frost.  Using mulch around perennials helps to protect in winter.  Tall ornamental grasses should be cut back to four inches in spring.  Short grasses should be just lightly trimmed in spring.

Insects and Diseases: -  Unfortunately, insects and diseases are part of nature and they can be a problem for plants.  Keep an eye on your plants - early detection is the best way to prevent serious damage.  Usually a couple of preventative sprays each year is the best way to keep insects and diseases away.  Flora-Guard is a good insecticide - fungicide combination spray to help prevent most insects and diseases.  It is especially good for Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Euonymous, Purple Sandcherry, Roses, etc.  Always you proper precautions when using any chemicals and / or fertilizers.



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Last modified: 02/09/04                                                       Hit Counter