- Choose plants with healthy root systems, Healthy root tips are light in color, older roots are dark. Avoid plants with dead branches, trunk cracks or wounds, or leaves that show signs of insect damage, disease, or drought.
- When moving your plants, handle it by the root ball or container and not by the trunk or branches. Cover it during a truck ride to avoid windburn. Load and unload gently.
- First find the trunk flare on your tree or shrub. This is the base of the trunk which widens out at the interface with uppermost roots. The most common mistake people make when planting a new tree or shrub is making the planting hole too deep and narrow. Instead focus on digging down only as deep as the root ball is. The soil underneath needs to stay firm so the plant does not settle later on. Make the hole two to three times as wide as the diameter of the root ball. This will encourage rapid root growth. When placing the plant in the hole, make sure the top of the hole is no deeper than the trunk flare.
- Now you are ready to plant. If your plant is in a pot make sure to cut downwards with a sharp knife any visible circling roots this will make them branch into the new soil. If your plant is balled and burlapped remove as much wire burlap rope and straps as possible but avoid breaking the rootball while doing so.
- Next fill in the hole around the root ball with the soil you have saved from digging and any organic matter you need to amend the soil. Firm the soil as you back fill, but don’t stomp on it and compact the soil. You can add water when the hole is half full to settle the soil, then again when you have finished planting. Make a donut-shaped dam of soil around the outer edge of the planting hold to form a Saucer to retain water around the plant.
- Water is the most essential resource that you can give your new plant. Immediately after planting, water thoroughly to saturate the entire root ball and backfill area. This improves root to soil contact, eliminates air pockets, and ensures that your plant has enough water to survive. Water frequently for the first few weeks, daily for a few days then every other day for two weeks. Then, make sure your plant is getting an inch of water twice a week including rain water.
- Mulching gives your plant a competitive advantage over turf grass and weeds, so that it establishes itself quicker and grows faster than un-mulched plants. It also helps keep the soil moist between watering and keeps the soil temperature constant. Don’t allow mulch to become deeper than four inches and don’t pile it up around the trunk of the tree. This common mulching practice is not only harmful but, will lead to the decline and eventual death of your plant. Pull the mulch back about 4 inches from the trunk or stem.
Coupon valid through May. 31, 2012.