by: Charlie Hartman
Idaho Certified Nurseryman
The Home & Garden Store takes pride in selling the finest quality plants to you, our customer. It is our intention to help you install these plants properly. If you follow the same procedures our landscape division uses, then you can be assured a successful planting. Outlined below are the proper procedures for installing most plants. A few plants such as Rhododendrons require specialized planting instructions.
1. Measure the depth and width of the root ball with your spade. Then dig a hole twice as wide and one and one-half times as deep as the root ball. For trees that are 2 inch caliper or larger, dig the hole only as deep as the root ball. The reason is that heavy root balls tend to settle after a few days, placing the top of the root ball below grade. With only a few exceptions, never plant a shrub or tree deeper than its original depth. Doing so may cause damage to the cambium layer on the tree, which can eventually kill a plant.
2. Fill the existing hole with 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 potting soil and 1/3 of the existing topsoil that was removed from the hole (You can substitute this mixture by using 50% Peat Moss and 50% existing topsoil if you prefer). The hole should now be back to ground level with the above mixture. Thoroughly mix these ingredients, keeping the mixture in the planting hole. Once thoroughly mixed, remove just enough of the mixture to ensure that the top of the root ball is at ground level.
3. If the plant is in a plastic container, remove and check the root system. On occasion, you may find massive roots surrounding the outside of the container. Should this ever be the case, use a sharp object such as a razor blade and make vertical cuts from the top of the root ball to the bottom every six inches. Some plants may be balled and burlapped or as sometimes the case, enclosed in a wire cage. Never remove the burlap or the wire cage. Breaking the root ball can cause serious damage to the plant!
4. Place the plant in the hole, checking again to be certain the soil surrounding the top of the plant is at ground level. Set the plant aside and fill the hole with water, adding Ferti-lome 'Root Stimulator' according to directions. Mix the water/'Root Stimulator' thoroughly and set the plant back into the planting hole, taking care to place its best side facing toward the most common viewing area. Let the plant sit in this solution for twenty to twenty-five minutes before backfilling. Should the water dissipate before backfilling, add water to the planting hole again, but do not add any additional 'Root Stimulator'.
5. Backfill with the excess planting mixture. Use the heel of your foot to compact the soil as it is replaced. When finished, the soil surrounding the plant should be level or slightly higher than the existing landscape. Adding bark mulch around the plant ensures the soil does not dry out too quickly between watering cycles and helps control weeds.
6. After 30 days, mix a solution of Water/'Root Stimulator' according to directions in a watering can and reapply around each plant.
The Home & Garden Store
4291 S. Cloverdale Rd.
Boise, Idaho 83709
Phone #: 208.917.4820