The best time to plant a tree or shrub was 20 years ago, but the next best time is right now. Lets get started. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the container or root ball that your new tree or shrub came in and about 6 inches deeper. Mix approximately 1/3 peat moss with the soil you dug out of the hole. Place some of this mix in the bottom of the hole so that the top of the root ball of the plant will be level with the ground when you’re finished. Now place the tree or shrub in the hole, making sure that it is standing straight up. Now is a good time to drench the root ball with a root stimulator like Fertilome’s B-1 Root Stimulator before you back fill with soil. Next, back-fill with the soil mix that you created earlier. Be careful to fill all the voids around the root ball, packing the soil gently as you go. Once you’ve filled the hole completely, water the new soil surrounding the tree. Use a sprinkler style water head so you don’t make holes where you just back-filled. Next place a good mulch around the base of the tree or shrub to a depth of 2-4 inches and out just beyond the root ball diameter. Do not place the mulch directly against the trunk of the tree or shrub. Stay back several inches. The mulch will greatly improve moisture retention so that the root system has a chance to develop and not dry out. During periods of no rain, your new tree or shrub should be just fine with a good watering twice a week. This is a general rule and may be adjusted to fit your circumstances. Some trees may need to be staked in open areas. Stop out for additional tips for successful tree and shrub planting.
The best gardens start with well prepared soil.
Always till your soil before planting in the spring. It’s best to till to a depth of 1 ft. You should also add soil amendments such as peat moss, mulch, fertilizer, manure, and other organic material as your soil dictates. Till in both directions and when the soil is sufficiently mixed with the amendments that you added, rake out the soil so it is smooth with a hard tined gravel rake and you’re now ready to plant. I like to water the beds in and let them sit over night before planting. An excellent small tiller, and the one I use, is the Mantis tiller. It is small, powerful, and very easy to use. It’s an invaluable garden tool and worth the approximately $300 investment. Please stop in for advice unique to you particular situation.