Planting & Care Guide for Trees and Shrubs Grown in Pots
PLANTING – Correct planting depth is essential! Dig your planting hole 6 to 12 inches wider than the container and not more than one inch deeper than the depth of the container. If you are planting in heavy clay soil, mix gypsum in the bottom of the hole to loosen soil under the plant for root penetration. Gently remove the plastic container, place your plant in the hole and check the depth. The top of your plant’s soil level should be level to ½ inch deeper than the existing soil surface. On larger plants with extensive root systems, carefully make three to five vertical cuts with a knife to a ½ inch depth. This facilitates root growth into the surrounding soil and prevents the circling of the roots. Backfill your planting hole with three parts soil to one part compost. Form a soil berm or well around the planting hole to create a watering basin.
WATERING – The initial watering is vital to settle the backfilled soil and to moisten the root system! Water thoroughly and tamp the backfilled soil to settle it. Add additional soil if needed. Apply Fertilome Root Stimulator now and then monthly during the first growing season. Watering is extremely important the first year or two! If rain is insufficient, apply one inch of water each week during the summer (increase during very hot weather). Let your hose run slowly at the base of the plant until water has penetrated to root depth. You must physically check the soil to prevent over-watering. Too much water may be as harmful as too little (especially in heavy clay soil). Check with our sales staff about the specific watering requirements of your selected plant materials!
MULCHING – After the initial watering, mulching is recommended to retain moisture, prevent weed growth, and control the soil temperature during the summer and winter months. This promotes vigorous root development and establishment in your landscape.
PRUNING – Pruning is usually not necessary the first growing season. During subsequent years, spring flowering shrubs should be pruned after they have bloomed (examples are Forsythia, Lilac, Spirea, and Viburnums). Summer flowering shrubs should be pruned back in the early spring, before growth begins (examples are Buddleia, Crapemyrtle, and Vitex). Other shrubs and evergreens may be pruned in the spring or summer to maintain the desired shape.
FERTILIZING – Use Fertilome Root Stimulator monthly during the first growing season. After the first season, use Fertilome Tree and Shrub Food as recommended. Always water well after using Tree and Shrub Food.
SPRAYING – If insect or disease problems are suspected bring in samples of the injury or pest to the nursery for problem identification and get the recommended treatment.