Planting a plant purchased from a nursery gives you a head start over the way it happens in nature. The root system is already started. There are some simple steps you can take to ensure the successful growth and maturity of the plants in your landscape.
1. Selection of the plant for the area to be planted. Pick the right plant for the area you are planting in. Shade plants need shade, sun plants need sun. Please see our section on Plant Selection for your Landscape.
2. Digging the Hole is important. Dig the hole twice as wide, but not quite as deep as the root ball of the plant to be planted. This will allow the root system to spread out through loose soil as it grows. If you are planting container plants, gently loosen the root system on the outside edges of the root ball. This will allow the root system to spread out laterally. If the root ball of the plant is covered with a burlap material, do not disturb this covering or any wire or string that is around the root ball until after the plant is in the hole with dirt around it and watered in well. This will ensure that the root system doesn’t get loose in the dirt ball. Cut the string and burlap off of the top of the root ball and leave the rest in the ground. It will naturally biodegrade in the earth.
3. Amending the Soil is necessary with the clay based soils in this area of Tennessee. A good mixture ratio is one-third peat moss and two-third’s soil from the hole you have dug. Plants that require shade can require up to a 50/50 ratio of peat moss and existing soil. This mixture should be thoroughly mixed together.
4. Setting the Plant in the hole. When the plant is finally in the hole, be certain that the top of the root system is above grade level. A common rule is 1/2 inch above grade level for small to medium container plants. At least 1 1/2 inches above grade level for tree root systems. Filling the Hole with the amended soil. Place the mixed soil back around the root system. Be careful not to get any soil on top of the root system.
5. Watering Plants can vary depending on the ability of your soil to soak up water. With your hose at a slow trickle, allow the water to run for approximately 1 minute for small plants up to 3 minutes for large plants or trees.
6. Use Root Stimulator according to the instructions on the bottle.
7. Mulch Plant. Be sure to mulch the top 3” of the root system, making sure to keep mulch away from the plant’s trunk. Also be sure to mulch around the sides of the plant. This will allow moisture to be retained for the plant and also shade the roots from the heat of the day.
8. Water New Plants once a day for the first 2-3 days depending on the temperature outside. After that, the plant needs water at least 1-2 times per week, in between watering be sure to keep an eye on your newly planted plants to ensure they remain moist.