There are certain rules that should be understood and followed whether you are planting a tiny Seed or a 15' Tree. These rules are usually mentioned in the planting instructions, but seldom explained. We will attempt an explanation.
The less time spent between leaving the Nursery and planting in Mother Earth, the better their chances of vigorous new growth. And a Plant dug out at a Nursery will do better than one that has spent weeks and months in a truck or on a store display. Some of this success is due to the superior root system. We suggest buying Plants from a store with a 1-year Growth Guarantee. Save your dated sales receipt.
Most rooted plants and trees will benefit from being submerged in water until all bubble activity stops. This will ensure that the Roots and Rootlets are not allowed to dry out further than they already have. Liquid Plant Food may be a more beneficial bath.
Trees and shrubs that are too large to submerge should have their foliage sprayed with water for the same reason. Then keep them in a cool shady place, preferably out of the wind. You can further protect them with plastic until you get them planted.
Many seeds have hard coats that may benefit from soaking them overnight in warm water. This procedure may result in quicker and more complete sprouting.
For Trees and some larger Shrubs, you will dig a considerable hole. The sides should be straight (plumb) and the bottom should be flat (level). If you dig past Topsoil into Subsoil, you will notice a change of soil appearance. Topsoil is usually darker. Put these two soil types in two distinct piles or containers. Plan to have the plant at the same depth it was growing in the nursery.
Fill the hole with water, being careful not to disturb the Cone. This is done to saturate the surrounding soil so it does not absorb moisture from the sifted soil in the hole. While the water is dissipating, remove the larger stones and debris from the Topsoil that you removed. These can be picked out by hand, or a Sifter can be used for this purpose. A Sifter is a very useful addition to your Garden Shed.
For Trees and large Shrubs, pound three equally-spaced stakes into undisturbed soil at the edge of the planting hole. Tie cords to each stake to support the plant for several months until the roots take hold.
the Roots and Foliage.
There is controversy surrounding the addition of Fertilizers or Compost in the planting hole when planting Trees and Shrubs. Opponents suggest that the roots may grow in this limited area, rather than reaching out of the hole for nutrients which would make a larger, more stable support platform. Using Topsoil should provide a happy medium.
Tamp every 3-inch layer of soil with your shoes, being careful not to damage bark or roots in the process. It is important that the soil be in firm contact with the roots to allow them to extract water and nutrients from the soil. Pockets of air will impede this extraction process and the resulting growth.
You can build a berm or basin using the Subsoil to contain rain or irrigation water. A 6-inch layer of mulch will help protect the loosened soil from the drying effects of Sun and wind. Landscaping Fabric placed under the Mulch will stop weeds, but admit water. Trunk Guards will help protect trees from rodents, trimmers and mowers.
Plants will benefit by protection from the drying effects of Sun and wind. Plastic supported above a row of Garden Vegetables or draped over a shrub or tree will help to retain moisture. A daily foliage dampening from your Garden Hose will also be beneficial. This is best done in the early morning to avoid Fungal Diseases.
Water the plant lavishly every
day for the first week. After that , weekly watering should suffice until
you see new growth forming. From then on, watering can be done at the same
time as the watering of nearby plants.
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