The Basics: Planting – Watering – Fertilizing
The dug hole dimensions should be 6” to 12” wider than the root ball or pot the plant is being kept in, and planted at the root ball’s/container’s existing depth. Burying the crown of any plant below its existing height is a mistake and can lead to the stem rotting or becoming exposed to fungal problems. Compost, peat, topsoil and/or cow manure should be mixed with the soil that was originally removed from the hole and used to fill it back in once the tree or shrub is occupying it. Using an organic or other slow release style fertilizer can go a long way towards helping the plant become established once it’s in the ground. Prior to planting any plastic containers should be removed from around the roots, and efforts may be made to lightly loosen them as they may be pot bound or root bound. Biodegradable substances like burlap do not need to be removed, but they may be loosened once the tree or shrub is in the hole to allow roots room to breath and grow. All strings and materials around the trunk should be removed. If a wire cage is present it may be left on, but should it be removed the root ball should be allowed to fall apart.
A word about watering.
The key to proper watering is both the quantity and frequency. It is recommended to water two to three times per week and to water deeply when done, letting the water soak deep down to the root ball.
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