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How to plant



Planting

How do I plant trees and shrubs?

All plants have growing requirements. Think about the plant's needs before you invest. Is it adapted to your area's soil? Will it grow in sun or shade? Does it need a wet or dry location? Is it cold hardy? Some nurseries have this type of information on tags beside the plant. If not, ask a nursery professional or the county Extension agent.

'Plan before you plant' is always a good rule of thumb. Whether you are planting a single plant or an entire landscape, plan first, then plant. Good planning is a worthwhile investment of time that will pay off in greater enjoyment of attractive and useful home grounds, and in increasing the value of your home. It's much easier to move plants on paper then to dig them after planting in the wrong place. A plan saves many planting mistakes.

 Ask yourself if you want a plant for screening, for privacy, for shade or simply for the beauty of it. How large will it be five years from now? Plants, like people, grow up. Remember, that a small one-gallon-size plant will look entirely different after a few years of growth in your landscape.

Dig a hole large enough in diameter so that the root system has at least six inches of clearance on all sides.
The root ball should rest on a solid soil foundation, so don't dig the hole much deeper than the ball.
Plant the tree or shrub slightly above the level of the surrounding soil, to allow for settling and increased soil drainage.
Carefully place the tree or shrub in the hole. Handle the plant by the root ball, not by the trunk. A broken ball of earth can mean a dead plant.
Always remove any container before you plant. Burlap is the only exception because it naturally decomposes. After you back fill with the soil and water, loosen the burlap from around the trunk of the tree or shrub.

Watering has been and remains paramount in transplanting. At the time of transplanting, soak the root ball and surrounding soil. A thorough watering once a week (more frequently in hot dry weather) dramatically increases the success ratio. Keep in mind that most trees and shrubs can fail from over watering as easily as they do from under watering. So be sure your soil isn't overly saturated.

Finally add a minimum of 3 inches of mulch around the base of newly planted trees and shrubs. This helps to keep down weeds and conserve soil moisture.




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