Plants come in three main forms-
1. Bare Root – without soil, usually late winter & early spring only
2. B&B- Balled & Burlapped- root ball wrapped & tied, often sold with a pot and soil
3. Planted Inside a Pot-Most Common-planted & rooted inside a pot with soil
Here are some tips to consider before you plant:
- Plant when the ground is workable (not frozen) and avoid extreme temperatures.
- Maintain hydration, Mulch Roots and Stake if needed.
- Know what you are planting- Type, Sun Exposure, Moisture Requirements and Size / Spacing- so you can plan where, when and how to plant, whether in the ground or in a container. Sometimes it is advantageous to plant in a container first, allowing plant to root out and grow for a period of time, then plant into the ground later.
- Call Before You Dig- avoid Utility Lines, Above and Under Ground. www.callbeforeyoudig.org/washington call 811 or 1-800-424-5555
What You Need to plant Your Tree or Shrub is optional, but here is a list that may help you:
- Shovel & Pick Axe (optional)
- Planting Compost or other Soil Amendment
- G&B Starter Organic Fertilizer
- Gloves & optional Safety- Eye Protection, Garden Clothes
- Water from the Hose or can with water
- Stakes, Cushion & Tree Ties (optional)
- Your Plants!
1. Dig a Hole as Deep as the Roots / Root Ball is Tall, and Twice as Wide. If you did deeper than that, the roots can sink, causing the plant to be too deep covering the crown, apex or trunk or grafted junction. If you don’t dig twice as wide, the plant may be stunted or make it harder to grow laterally.*See below-Drainage
2. Place Plants Roots into Hole. If Bare Root: Make a Mound with Soil, Fan Roots Symmetrically on Mound. B&B: Cut Twine/Rope, Leave Burlap Attached, Add Root Ball into Hole. Potted: Take Plant out of Pot, Loosen Roots, Add Root Ball into Hole. Make Sure Plant is Upright & Straight, not leaning or crooked.
3. Add G&B Starter Fertilizer (see directions or use approximately ½ cup per 1’ of plant height) with 1/2 Organic Planting Compost or other Soil Amendment and ½ Native Soil. Mix Well, add more soil if needed. Don’t cover the crown, graft junction or trunk apex.
4. Tamp Soil, Add Mulch or Top Dress with Compost. Water in well. Make sure plant is firmly in the ground and it is visually appropriate. Add Stake Supports if desired: Add a stake on each side. Use tree ties and protect trunk with a cushion or hose. Remove stakes in a year or so, check to make sure they do not dig into trunk.
*If you want to check the holes Drainage, then do this test before you plant. Dig your hole, then fill it with water. Allow to drain. Then fill it again with water. Check the hole 8 hours later. If there is no water, then the drainage should be adequate. If there is water standing then the drainage is not good. At this point, make a decision if this is the best spot for your plant. So plant it in your hole, choose another area or choose a different plant that can take these conditions.