- Dig a hole 12" to 15" wider than the ball (or container), and deep enough that the plant root ball (container soil level) is even with the existing soil level.
- Place the plant in the hole and back fill approximately 1/3 of the hole with soil. Do not remove the burlap bag from the root ball of the plant. Tamp the soil using the heel of your foot. [ Note: the hole should be big enough that your foot should easily fit beside the root ball and the side of the hole]. Incorporate a layer of peat at this time. Continue back filling with soil and tamping each layer until the root ball is covered with soil.
- When planting a line or a group of shrubs/plants, its best to dig all of the holes first, place all of the plants in the holes- second align and properly space the plants until correct before backfilling each plant.
- Extra (displaced) soil can be spread and raked into the planting bed to elevate the bed. This may help eliminate possible wetness problems. Rake a 2-3" diameter high ring around the plant perimeter (to collect rain fall). This water trap is very important, otherwise you can't get a sufficient amount of water to the plant during periods of drought.
- Balled and bur lapped plants should be watered every 5 to 7 days in hot weather.
- Container grown plants should be watered every 1 to 3 days (depending on the container size).
- Be sure to fill the water trap [described in point 4 above] each watering.
- It takes an inch of rain to water newly planted plants/shrubs, any amount less than one inch is insignificant, therefore you must continue the watering schedule above.
- Plants planted in the fall must be maintained through to the next growing season and until they go dormant the following fall.
Watering is not an exact science with many factors including weather, soil type, mulch, plant cultivars, and sun exposure. The above instructions are not inflexible and if you have doubts about how you are watering, simply dig beside one or two plants/shrubs root balls and check the moisture as well as the moisture in the root ball. Many time the root ball of container grown plants will be very dry while the surrounding soil appears moist.
What Not To Do:
- Do not use sprinklers or soaker hoses on newly planted plants, shrubs and trees.
- Do not use a nozzle on the end of a hose because it restricts water flow
- Do not use the trickle method of watering because you do not know how much water you are applying.
- Do not use plastic or weed mat under mulch this keeps plants/shrubs too wet
- Do not put mulch too thick ... 2-3" is plenty deep enough.
- Do not over fertilize your plants/shrubs/trees with granular fertilizer, a water soluble fertilizer such as "Miracle Grow" (TM) is a very safe method of fertilization the first year.