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Planning to add or replace flowers, trees, shrubs, etc.?

To establish that your plants have the best path to success, do some research to make sure the flowers, shrubs, or trees you plan to grow have the right elements needed in your desired location. Read the tags that come attached to the plants. Do they need sun, shade, or a combo of the two? Plants that prefer full sun should be in the open, whereas ones that require shade should have a cover of some kind.

Getting Them Home

Plants and trees need TLC when getting them from one place to another. They are, after all, living things that become accustomed to their surroundings, so it’s important to make sure you protect them from purchase to installation.

Follow these steps to ensure a healthy move for your foliage:

  • Keep the roots moist.
  • If using the back of a truck, cover them in tarps or plastic to keep them from drying out or suffering damage from riding in the windy back area.
  • If the plants are tall, lay them down so they have a better chance of not tipping over or breaking, and make sure to put the root ball near the front of the truck so it is less likely to slide around.
  • Always lift foliage by the container they are in or their root ball, instead of holding onto branches or trunks.
  • Don’t wait to plant them. This can cause the roots to dry out and cause unnecessary shock to the plant.

Preparing the Soil

Beautiful vegetation begins with healthy soil.
**For Trees and Shrubs**

  • Make the hole two to three times wider than the root ball of your tree or shrub but maintain the same depth that the plant has been used to.
  • Do not loosen the soil underneath where the root ball will rest. This will cause the soil to compact once the tree is in place, and it will sink deeper into the ground than it needs to be.
  • The soil around the root ball and the planting site should be moist.

**For Flowers**

  • You want to make sure the soil is loose and well-draining.
  • Adding organic material will help your flowers thrive, and you can do this by adding compost to improve the soil structure and add nutrients.

Time for Planting

Make sure you inspect the roots before placing the trees, shrubs, or flowers in the ground. If the roots are growing in a circular motion, you will want to untangle them and spread them out. Don’t worry about breaking them. Some breakage is necessary to save the tree or shrub from being root-bound. If you plant them while they are still root-bound, they will not thrive and most likely will not live long after planting.

**For Trees and Shrubs**

Place the tree into the center of the hole you’ve prepared. Make sure the tree or shrub is standing straight. If needed, you can stabilize them by adjusting the area beneath the root ball. Add backfill soil to the hole until it reaches the midway point of the root ball. Use your hands to press firmly so you remove air pockets trapped in the soil. Continue this process until the soil reaches the base of the trunk flare.

Spread mulch around the perimeter of the plant. According to research, [mulching trees] (https://extension.umd.edu/resource/mulching-trees-and-shrubs) as far out as the branches reach is a successful way to maximize tree growth. Newly planted trees and shrubs should be watered every other day for the first couple of weeks, then limit watering to once a week (or less, depending on how much rain your area received that week).

**For Flowers**

This is where your previous research will come in handy so you will know how deep certain flowers want to be planted. When removing the flower from the pot, gently shake the roots with your fingers to remove excess soil. Place the plant gently into the hole you’ve prepared and push the soil back into the hole to act as a backfill. Press the soil down gently, without packing it down.

Thoroughly soak the soil around your newly planted flowers. A good rule of thumb is to provide one to two inches of moisture every week, so water your flowers if you don’t receive enough rain. If the soil seems to be waterlogged, wait a few days until your soil dries out a little before giving any more water to prevent root rot.

The above knowledge is critical to the success of your new lawn additions. If you don’t have a green thumb or aren’t sure which plants, trees, or shrubs make sense for your soil, come by our Centennial or Parker locations and our friendly staff can help guide you to what you need. For more, visit our website today!

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