Before You Plant
Give your plants a healthy start and make your planting easier by taking the time to make the right preparations before you begin planting. Here are some suggestions to help make your planting a success!
Select An Appropriate Site
Sunlight, soil, and water requirements can vary from plant to plant. Be sure that the unique demands of your plant are met at the location you choose.
Give your plant room to grow. Is there enough surrounding space to allow your plant to mature? Look above your plant. Make sure the pace is free from utility wires and other trees. Also choose a space that has enough room underground for roots to grow – free from building foundations and other tree roots. Need help determining the ideal environment? Ask a friendly Alsip Nursery Associate!
Check Your Soil
Healthy plants start with healthy soil. Dig a test hole to check for proper drainage, moisture retention, aeration and nutrients. Soil characteristics depend on the mix of clay, sand and organic matter, such as compose and peat moss. In most cases, light or medium brown soils lack organic matter and nutrients. Lighter, sandy soil drain quickly and are easier to dig than heavy, compacted clay soils.
Moist soils fall somewhere between sand and clay. No matter what your soil, it will be dramatically improved by using our recommended soil amendments.
Digging the Hole
Once placement has been determined, dig an area for the root ball to placed upon undisturbed/tamped soil. Make sure hole 2x the width and 1.5x the height of the root ball. (Example: 24”W x 24”H Root Ball requires a 48”W x 36”H ) Leaving 1” – 3” higher than grade in heavy clay soils.
Find The “Front” of the Plant
Sometimes a plant will look better when viewed from a particular angle. Walk around your plant and determine which side you think looks best and position accordingly.
PREP FOR PLANTING:
Root ball shall remain intact. Remove the string and peel back or cut off the top later of burlap. For container grown trees, disturb as little of the root system as possible.
Amended soil consists of a mixture of the following: 25% Purple Cow Organic Compost to 75% Top Soil (we recommend Garden Magic). Back-fill hole to root ball planting depth. You may use 50% native soil if conducive for planting.
Alsip Recommended BACK-FILL recipe
While still in pot, water your tree or shrub thoroughly. After planted, an aerating/watering tube with a water bag is recommended to keep your new tree hydrated.
Organic Mulch should be applied to the top of the root ball 2” – 3” high and a mulch-air gap should remain at the crown of the trunk/root ball union to prevent softening of the tree trunk.
Fertilizing: The use of Mycorrhiza and a root stimulator is recommended at the time of initial installation and can be applied through the water bag/aeration device.
Common Reasons Plants Fail to Grow
- Too Much Water – over watering and under watering have the same effect on many plants.
- Planting Too Deep
- Improper Nutrients
- Hole too small/not enough good, loose soil surrounding