Planting properly is the first step to ensuring a good start and long lasting success of the plant. Prior to planting it is important to look at several factors.
How big will the plant grow? Position the plant in a location that it can grow to its specified average height & width.
What is the location the plant will be planted in? (Sun/Shade, Wet/Dry, Exposed/Sheltered)
What you will need for planting:
Round Mouth Shovel (Spade) – for digging – if soil is really hard a pick or Mattock may be used
Tape Measure – to measure distance or spacings
Wheel Barrel – to move plants or to put extra soil in and to mix soil
Rake – to help clean up and level out soil around the hole
Soil – A quality blended soil to mix with the existing soil to help the plant root out easier
Soil Conditioners – Zeolite (Helps break up clay and has great water absorbing properties) or Gypsum (Helps break up clay and adds calcium and sulphur to our alkali soils)
Transplanter Fertilizer – We recommend Root Booster (contains 3 natural rooting hormones which trigger the plant to set roots and a 5-15-5 fertilizer to feed the new roots) or Bone Meal 4-10-0 (an organic phosphorus source which feeds roots).
Let's get started.
Remove the plastic pot and position the pot where you would like to dig the hole. Use the pot as a guide to dig your hole and dig the hole twice as wide as the pot and the same depth. Once you have the outline you can use the pot or wheel barrow to put your soil in or and finish digging the hole. Digging the hole twice as wide and same depth allows the plant to root out easier in loosened soil and also allows more water volume to disperse across the bottom of the hole instead of flooding all the way up. Roots need as much oxygen as they do water.
Place the plant in the hole and begin to ‘face’ the plant in the position in which it looks best. For instance, if the plant has a flat side or does not look as good as the other side you would position the flat side towards the fence so that the bushy side is more visible. Ensure that the top of the root ball is level with the top of the hole. Planting too deep can suffocate the roots of oxygen and moisture can rot the bark around the trunk which often kills the tree.
Before back filling the hole take your fingers and lightly rake the roots around the root ball to loosen them from the ball. Don’t break or cut the woody roots but simply loosen them to allow them to be in the back filled soil. Breaking or cutting the roots limits the ability for the plant to take up moisture so by allowing the existing roots to root in you will reduce transplant shock.
Mix the existing soil from the hole with your quality soil 50/50 soil from the hole and incorporate your soil amendment and or bone meal as well. Backfill the soil around the root ball and lightly pack to take out large air pockets and to stabilize the plant and fill up to soil level. Mixing the existing soil is important, heavy clay soils often compact so mixing allows soils like these to utilize the clay which helps stabilize the plant in the soil while the fresh soil will help reduce compaction and allow water, oxygen and roots to penetrate easier.
Water the plants root-ball and the hole for about 10 seconds with the hose on medium pressure. Allow the water to drain in the soil for about a minute then go back and water one more time for about 10 seconds. Weather pending you may need to hand water your plant daily or every 2-3 days. Do not rely on rain to water new plants as the rain likely will not water the root-ball which is covered. When the plant roots in to the surrounding soil it will then be able to absorb water and nutrients and watering can lessen.
Watering Tips: Listen to the air bubbles in the soil as you water. Water will displace air, so if you do not hear air bubbles coming up the hole is likely saturated. New plants will require frequent watering until they are able to root into the surrounding soil and compete for water and nutrients. Established plants should be watered less frequently but watered for deeper penetration. Watering 2-3 times a week for longer periods is better than everyday with less time. Deeper irrigation makes the plants go deeper for water making them stronger to compete in drier periods.
Roots need as much oxygen as water in the soil. Plants will exhibit the same symptoms when over watered as they do under-watered. Too much water starves the plant of oxygen causing it to wilt, not enough water causes the plant to wilt as there is no water to support the leaves. If unsure how much moisture is in the soil take a shovel and dig down around the plant to see what the moisture looks like at 6” and 12” deep. If your plant is wilted look for two things: Wilting and leaves going brown and crispy – the plant likely dried out because it was dehydrated. If the plant wilts and turns brown but is soft – the plant is likely too wet and the leaves are soft because they are still hydrated.
A healthy plant will grow faster and have more vigour to fight off pests and diseases. Proper planting, watering, plant nutrition, pruning and care can ensure a healthy yard for years to come. There are a lot of factors that can affect plants here – climate, soil, water, animals, insect, disease, etc. but if you want help with the plants in your yard please contact our Garden Scents Plant Health Service which is focussed on the plant health aspects to ensure a greener tomorrow.
Please visit us at our store at 234011 Range Road 284 (116st), Rocky View, AB. We are located on the Calgary city limits on the corner of Glenmore Trail East & Range Road 284 (116st). 2.9km East of Stoney Trail on Glenmore Trail. Only minutes from Chestermere, Langdon & Calgary!
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Garden Scents Garden Center location is easily accessible from all parts of the city and surrounding area. Take Stoney trail south to Glenmore East. Turn north on Range rd 284. Just look for the greenhouses on the corner!