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HARDY PLANT – Planting Instructions (including trees, conifers, shrubs, climbers, roses and herbaceous perennials).
Planting of container-grown plants can be undertaken throughout the year providing that the ground is not frozen, water-logged or under drought conditions.
EXCEPTIONS to this are those plants which are indicated on our labels as requiring a sunny sheltered site, a warm wall, or even protection from frost etc. Normally these are not available during cold winter periods and should not planted in the period October to March. Cold weather can harm them before the rooting system is established. Generally these plants will require winter-protection in the first winter after planting.
Plants in this category include: –
- some Climbers
- some Herbaceous perennials
- some Hebes
- Hardy Fuchsias
If in doubt, consult staff in the Plant Advisory and Information Centre at the time of purchase.
- Make sure the plant is moist, thoroughly watering the container especially in summer. Soak the root ball in a bucket of water for 20 minutes prior to planting.
- Make a generous planting hole by removing the top spit (i.e. 1 spade’s depth) over an area three times the diameter of the container, putting the soil to one side.
- Mix this soil from the hole, with plenty of moist organic compost,specialist Tree and Shrub compost, Horse Manure compost etc. If using Peat or composted Bark alone it is preferable to add up to a handful of Bonemeal, for autumn/winter planting or Vitax Q4 at other times. Mix in very well as fertilizer is concentrated and can burn roots. When planting ericaceous plants, e.g. Japanese Maples, Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Camellias, Pieris, Skimmias, ‘Heathers’ etc., only use an Ericaceous compost. Please refer to our individual leaflets for further information.
- Fork over the second spit of the planting hole to loosen the soil removing large stones, lumps of clay, rubble etc. Then add some of the soil/compost mix to the hole until you have the correct depth (test the depth of the container in the planting hole).
- Remove the plant from the container carefully, and gently tease roots away from the root ball disturbing the root ball as little as possible. Again, ensure that the top of the compost is level with the top of the soil after planting this is most important.
- Now plant using the remaining soil/compost mix from the top spit to backfill around the plant firming gently (perhaps with the heel for larger trees) to eliminate air-pockets. Take care not to compress the rootball.
- When you reach the right level give a final firming and then water in. A mulch is useful to keep the roots moist as the plant gets established, remember though, to keep it clear of the trunk or plant stem(s). Mulches are not recommended for grey-leaved plants use gravel instead.
- It is essential that plants are kept well-watered in their first year, especially in hot, dry weather. In winter, for your convenience and to stop roots drying out, some of our trees, shrubs, hedging, top – and soft-fruit and most of our roses are potted and not container grown. These can be planted the same way using the compost from the pot to mix with planting mixture during the period of November to early March.
When planting trees and vigorous – growing shrubs in grass do not allow grass or weeds to grow over the root area i.e. within 50cm minimum for at least 5 years. Regular mulching will help where soil is poor or well-drained. Use well-rotted compost or bark chippings to a surface depth of 5cm, again keeping away from the trunk or stems.
Make sure that trees are firmly staked in their early years (extra heavy trees need a stake at either side and tree ties to support).