Planting Guide for Container Plants
Proper plant installation
· Dig hole 2-3 times wider, but the same depth as the root ball. This will promote roots to expand vigorously, but keep plant from settling lower in the ground over time.
· If the root ball has a flat bottom, the hole should have a flat bottom so there are no air pockets under the plant.
· Remove plant from pot as gently as possible. On larger material, it might be necessary to lay the plant on its side and pull the pot off. With smaller material, you may turn the plant upside-down with stem between fingers, and pull the pot off with other hand. Always handle plant material by the pots as much as possible to help prevent damaging the plant.
· At this stage, examine the roots. If any are circling the root ball, lightly loosen them with your hand, claw or rake. This practice will help promote roots to start reaching out rather than staying balled up. Keep this practice to a bare minimum if installing during late spring or summer months because plants are more prone to shock during that time of year.
· Set plant in hole. Be sure the top of the root ball is level or slightly higher than the surrounding ground level.
· Begin to back-fill 1/3 of the depth at a time. (The larger the root ball, the more important this is.) Pack every layer very firmly leaving no air pockets. An old broken shovel or rake handle works well to pack the soil; or this may be done by hand as well. Lightly watering as you back-fill will help the soil settle properly.
· If the plant is located in an irrigated location, or is easily accessed to be hand watered, DO NOT build a watering burm around it. These burms can inhibit top feeder roots from vigorous expansion and oxygen, resulting in a slower growing plant. Only make a small watering burm (mounding soil just outside root balls surface area) if plant is in a rural location that has to be hand watered. Fill burm up with water, allowing it to seep slowly into the ground.
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