How you ease your plants into their new environment plays a large part in determining whether they make it or not. With these helpful tips we can increase your success rate.
Preparing the soil:
Plants can’t grow if their roots can’t grow out into the surrounding soil. Therefore it is absolutely essential that the soil is thoroughly dug up and loosened before you even think about planting your plants. This is the single most important factor which will determine the success of your planting.
Digging the hole:
Once the soil is thoroughly prepared, all you need to do is dig a hole just a little larger than the pot the plant is in. If the soil is properly prepared, this should be a very easy job with a spade or even your bare hands.
Remove the plant gently from the pot by tipping it carefully upside down and sliding the pot off. Be very careful that the potting mix does not fall away from the roots. DO NOT TEASE THE ROOTS OUT. Teasing the roots is an old wives’ tale left over from a bygone era. Modern nursery technology ensures that you should never have to purchase a root-bound plant. In fact, pulling at the roots will most likely kill them, since you will be pulling off the fine feeder roots which absorb the water and nutrients, Using Texture Plants 12 month planting food will slowly leach nutrients into the ground encouraging fast deep root growth.
Step By Step Guide:
First dig your hole to the same depth as the root ball and slightly wider.
Place a tablespoon of Texture Plants 12 month planting food in the bottom of the hole and mix with the soil. Don’t use 12 month planting food with some New Zealand natives, ferns, Australian and South African natives. Please ask a Texture Plants staff member for further details.
Place the plant gently in the hole so that the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface.The final finished height of the root ball should be at the same level as the finished soil height. If soil or mulch is left around the base of the tree it will cause collar root and your new tree will most likely die.
Back-fill around the root-ball with fine friable soil.
Gently heel in the soil around the plant. BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVER COMPACT THE SOIL.
Exceptions To The Rule
When planting your trees or shrubs there are also a few exceptions to the rule just stated. These include planting in wet boggy soil, or dry areas including hill sites.
When planting in a wet site you can increase the chances of your plants survival by planting the root ball proud of the existing soil level and mounding the soil up to the top of the root ball. This is also useful when you are going to apply mulch as it will stop the mulch being to high around the collar of the plants and rotting the base out.
Dry or hill sites
When planting in very dry or steep hill sites we recommend planting the root ball lower than soil level and sculpting the surrounding soil down to the top of the root ball. This will leave a space for water to collect and soak in to the soil.
Water every plant as soon as you have planted it, with at least a bucketful of water, even if it’s raining. It’s pretty unlikely that a shower of rain will amount to the equivalent of a bucketful of water – that’s many, many inches! So water even if it’s raining. Failure to water enough when you plant is the highest cause of death in new plantings.
Staking is only required for large trees in exposed sites, Staking when not required only encourages weak stems and trunks. A light pruning is often all that’s needed to make a plant stand upright on its own.Trunks will only strengthen if they are exposed to movement, so if staking is really necessary, tie the plant as loosely as possible, and remove the tie as soon as possible. If a tie is left around a trunk, it will ring bark and eventually kill the tree.
For further information on staking please see our How to Stake a Tree info sheet
When you get your plants home…
Texture Plants plants are totally sun-hardened when you buy them. Take them home and plant them out in the full sun straight away.
There is absolutely NO NEED to keep your plants for a few weeks at your place in order to “acclimatise” them before planting.
Do all your planning and preparation first, and buy your plants last. Get yourself organised so that you can plant them the same day you buy them. If you cannot plant your plants straight away PLANTS MUST BE WATERED EVERY DAY WITHOUT FAIL
Don’t rely on a sprinkler, and don’t wave the hose over the top – the water must thoroughly soak the potting mix in the pot. Failure to water plants kept in pots every day, will almost certainly mean that they die.