Step 2 for Planting Success

2 - Dig a Hole

Make it easier for roots to spread and settle in

First, call your local utility company to have them locate buried cables and lines before you dig.

Potted plants:

Dig a hole at least two times wider than your plant's root ball, but no deeper than the height of the root ball. Place your plant in the hole, then backfill the hole and firm soil gently. In poorly drained soil, place plants about 2 inches higher than the surrounding soil to help excess water to drain away from the plant’s base or crown.

Bare root plants:

Dig a hole large enough to accommodate your plant's spread-out roots, then create a small mound in the middle of the hole. Position your plant's roots on top of the mound, spreading the roots out and backfilling with soil as you go. The plant's topmost roots should sit one to two inches below the soil.

What about amending my soil?

Recent research has shown that amending the planting hole isn't as necessary as it was once thought to be, and may even be detrimental to the establishment of your plant. Amending only the planting hole can keep roots from venturing out into the native soil, so decide whether to add organic matter to your soil on a case-by-case basis and with regard to your soil structure. If you choose to add organic amendments to your site before planting, incorporate them uniformly throughout the entire planting area. In existing beds, you probably cannot amend the entire area, but topdress it once a year with an inch or two of compost, shredded leaves, or aged manure. Over time, the soil will improve as earthworms and other organisms work this material down into your soil to create a rich, well-aerated site.

Go to the next step - "Water in and mulch."

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