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Plant Care & Guide

Plant Care & Guide


Prior to Planting: Soil Drainage Test: Remove both ends for a can. Push the can into the soil to a depth of four inches. Remove soil from inside of can. Fill the can with water and allow it to drain. Once again, fill the can with water and time how long it takes for the water level to drop 1″. If it takes longer than 4 hours, drainage in the area is poor.

To remedy this situation, you can choose moisture tolerant plants and mound plants. Install plant 3″ above ground level and mound with amended soil. Installing with a 2″ layer of gravel underneath the planting area will act as a water trapping barrier. Call us for further instructions if you need help.

You’ve passed the test, now its time to PLANT!

Planting Instructions :

  1. Dig a hole twice the width and the same depth as the root ball or container.
  2. Remove any rocks or debris from excavated soil.
  3. Improve the soil by adding 1/2 soil conditioner to 1/2 existing soil. If the soil is extremely heavy, add 60% soil conditioner to 10%sharp sand to 30% of the existing soil. Add triple Super Phosphate (0-46-0) fertilizer and mix thoroughly with excavated/amended soil.
  4. Backfill the improved soil mix into the hole so that the plant, when placed, will sit with the soil level 2” above the adjacent ground level. Planting too low will guarantee the death of the plant.
  5. Always remove the container before placing the plant into the hole. If plant appears root bound, loosen the roots which have wrapped around the bottom of the container and score the edge of the root ball with your shovel or knife in several places to encourage new roots to grow. Otherwise, do not disturb plant roots.
  6. Place plant in hole 2” higher than the existing soil line. Mound up even to the top of the root ball with improved soil mix in a gentle slope.
  7. If the plant is B&B (Balled & Burlaped), place the burlaped plant into the prepared hole as previously described. VERY IMPORTANT! Do not remove basket or burlap unless plastic or green-tinted, but do take particular care to remove string or wire from trunk to avoid girdling.
  8. Proceed to backfill with improved soil mix. If plastic or green-tinted, simply untie and fold flat in the bottom of the hole.
  9. Form a basin with the soil around the hole. Soak the root ball of the plant twice with one inch of water.
  10. Large trees in a windy location may need to be supported with stakes or cables.

DON’T USE A FERTILIZER WITH A CHEMICAL SOURCE OF NITROGEN AT THE TIME OF PLANTING OR TRANSPLANTING ! Chemical fertilizers will burn off the white feeder roots as they are formed. These roots need to become established before a chemical fertilizer is applied. The use of organic nitrogen is acceptable, e.g., dehydrated cow manure, Holly-Tone or Plant-Tone.

When chemical fertilizers are applied to an established plant, broadcast the material on the soil surface around the drip line of the plant, following package directions.

Care must be taken when using weed killers. Do not use the in close proximity to newly planted trees or shrubs.

So you’ve got it planted; now the real work begins!

Aftercare: Newly planted trees and shrubs, installed in well drained soil, require the equivalent of 1” of water two times a week for the first month, and 1” of water every week throughout the growing season. If there has not been adequate rainfall, YOU MUST SUPPLY this via soaker hose, sprinkler or hand watering. When watering, apply a slow steady stream of water to the base of the plant. We recommend deep watering as this encourages deep root formation. This helps a plant in time of drought follow the water as it percolates down through the soil. If your soil is “heavy” (clay), reduce the water to 1” of water every 5 th day for the first month and 1” of water every 10 days thereafter.

To measure the amount of moisture a plant is receiving, place a coffee can or rain gauge in the area of the planting.

Mulch all plantings with 3” of mulch – pine bark, pine needles or hardwood bark. This will decrease water evaporation and discourage the growth of weeds which compete with the plant for both moisture and food. DO NOT place the mulch up against the plant trunk.

Just When You Think You’re Out of the Woods, You’re Into the Cold!

Overwintering : At the time of the first “killing frost”, we advise that you thoroughly soak all shrubs and trees which are newly planted or in a weakened condition. During unusually warm winters, dormant plants continue to transpire, so a thorough soaking bi-weekly is advised if there is insufficient rain or snowfall. During the first winter, all shallow rooted plants e.g. rhododendron, azalea, mountain laurel, holly and plants in very windy conditions, should be protected with a burlap barrier or other material to prevent drying out. IMPORTANT: the barrier must allow the plant to breath. The use of an antitranspirant spray such asWilt Pruff or Envy is also advantageous to the survival of all evergreens.

A plant must have the proper environment in order to survive. When choosing a plant, make sure it is suited to the area! If not sure, please ask us. We are here to help and to serve you!

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