Planting and Care of Your New Plants
It is very important that you continue the good care your plant has previously received before purchase. Be sure to water your plant while it is in the container until it is planted in the ground. The plant should not be allowed to wilt prior to planting as the roots and plant could be damaged beyond repair. Decide where it will be planted. Be sure the drainage, the light and amount of room available for it to grow to maturity are all correct.
Once you are sure that everything is set, it is time to dig the hole. Dig a hole two times the width of the container the plant was in. Prepare the removed soil by mixing it with the recommended soil amendment to create the proper growing medium. Mix two parts peat to one part composted manure and one part existing soil together to refill the hole.
If plant is in a plastic container remove it. If the plant is in a peat pot, it can be planted in the pot however you will need to tear off the top edge and slit the sides and bottom open. Place the plant in the hole with the top of the root ball even with ground level. Be sure it is straight in the hole with the plant facing just the way you want it. Now fill the hole with the prepared soil. Tamp the soil around the root ball firmly to prevent air pockets, but not enough to compact the soil too much. Form a water basin with a 2” mound of soil around the outer edge of the plant like a moat.
Gently soak the soil around the root ball with water until well saturated. Add a 1-2” layer of mulch over the planted area. Continue to water the plant consistently throughout the growing season. Water your plants at least three times a week with a slow running hose for about 20-45 minutes per plant depending on soil type and plant size. Extreme weather conditions may require more water or less water depending. Your lawn irrigation system is not a replacement for this kind of individual plant care. Continue this regular watering of your plants until there is frost in the ground. Evergreens particularly require this late season watering to prevent foliage from drying out over the winter months. Large trees and those planted in the fall require these new plant watering techniques throughout the following growing season to root in well.
If you have planted your new plants properly, all they need to survive and thrive in the years to come is the right amount of water, a balanced fertilizer suitable to the type of plant applied in the spring, a little pruning and proper winterizing. A little effort now will pay big dividends in the future. Enjoy!