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Care & Planting Instructions

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For Shrubs, Roses, Evergreens, Trees and Perennials

Materials and Tools Needed

  • Soil Conditioner
  • Bio-tone® Starter Plus
  • Top Soil: for sandy soils
  • Peat Moss: for sandy soils and acid-loving plants
  • Tools: Shovel, gloves, knee pads or kneeling pad, knife
  • Staking kit for larger trees

Soil Types

There are three basic soil types – Sandy, Normal and Clay.  Planting methods differ for each. Determine what type of soil you have by testing the drainage of the ground. It’s not always accurate after lots of rain, so test when the ground isn’t saturated from a recent rainfall.

Dig a 1 to 1-1/2 ft. deep hole near where you want to plant, and fill with water. If the water soaks into the ground within 10 minutes you probably have sandy soil. If it takes nearly an hour to drain, then you have normal soil. If it takes more than an hour, your soil is clay.

Bio-tone® Starter Plus

This is an all-natural plant starting fertilizer with Mycorrhizae fungi and beneficial bacteria designed to establish new plants quicker. Add Bio-tone® Starter Plus to the soil mix as you are planting:

Pot Size Plant Starter

#1 to #2                1 cup

#3 to #5                 2 cups

#6 to #10               3 cups

#12 to #15             4 cups

#16 to #20             5 cups

#25 or more          10 cups

Planting in Sandy Soils

Add organic mix to help retain moisture.

  1. Dig the hole three times as wide as the root ball of the plant and 1.5 times as deep as the root ball is tall.
  2. Add peat moss and top soil to the bottom of the hole until the hole is as deep as the root ball.
  3. Set the root ball in the hole and fill with Soil Conditioner mixed with 50% of the original soil dug out of the hole. Be sure to add Bio-tone® Starter Plus all around the root ball as you fill.
  4. Cover the sides of the root ball completely, but don’t put any on top of the root ball.
  5. Form a donut-like ring of soil about 3 inches high at the edge of the planting hole. This creates a basin that allows the water to soak down to the roots of the plant instead of draining away.
  6. Add a 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch to keep weeds down and help retain moisture. Keep the mulch about an inch away from the stems of the plant.
  7. Water thoroughly.

Planting in Normal Soils

  1. Dig the hole 2-3 times as wide as the root ball of the plant and only as deep as the root ball is tall.
  2. Set the root ball in the hole and fill with Soil Conditioner mixed with 50% of the original soil dug out of the hole. Be sure to add Bio-tone® Starter Plus all around the root ball as you fill.
  3. Cover the sides of the root ball completely, but don’t put any on top of the root ball.
  4. Form a donut-like ring of soil about 3 inches high at the edge of the planting hole. This creates a basin that allows the water to soak down to the roots of the plant instead of draining away.
  5. Add a 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch to keep weeds down and help retain some moisture. Be sure to keep the mulch about an inch away from the stems of the plant.
  6. Water thoroughly.

Planting in Clay Soils

  1. Dig the hole three times as wide as the root ball of the plant and only half as deep as the root ball is tall.
  2. Set the root ball in the hole and fill with Soil Conditioner mixed with 50% of the original soil dug out of the hole. Be sure to add Bio-tone® Starter Plus all around the root ball as you fill.
  3. Cover the sides of the root ball completely but don’t put any on top of the root ball; you are creating a mound.
  4. Form a donut-like ring of soil about three inches tall at the edge of the planting hole. This creates a basin that allows the water to soak down to the roots of the plant instead of draining away.
  5. Add a 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch to keep weeds down and help retain some moisture. Be sure to keep mulch an inch away from the stems of the plant.
  6. Water thoroughly.

Specific Plant Needs

For Roses, Blueberries and Broadleaf Evergreens, add peat moss with soil conditioner for each soil type.

Planting in Rows or Hedges

It is best to dig a wide trench for rows or hedges. This ensures all plants share the water supply and grow more uniformly. Follow the directions for specific soil types.

Care Instructions

Staking Trees

Evenly space three stakes around the tree, and drive them into the ground outside the planting area. Secure rope or wire to trunk through sections of hose and attach to stakes so there is little slack.

Wrapping Tree Trunks

Wrap trunk with paper tree wrap to protect from sun scald and animal damage; secure with stretch tie or similar flexible fastener. Do not use wire or string.

Watering New Plants

New plants will need regular watering for at least the first year they are planted. How much and how often will vary based on the soil type, time of year, air temperature and amount of rain fall per week. Generally, new plants should be watered two to four times a week in the spring, and as often as every day in the summer when it gets hot. Once the trees turn color in the fall, water new plants once a week until the ground freezes. How much water depends on the pot size of the root ball.

Pot Size               Amount of Water

#1 to #2                At least 1 gallon

#3 to #6                Two to 3 gallons

#7 to #10              Three to 4 gallons

#12 to #16             Five gallons

#20 and larger        Five to 10 gallons

Winter Protection

Many newly planted shrubs and trees should be protected through their first winter in the ground.

  1. Drive wood or metal stakes into the ground around the plants to be protected — about two to six inches from the edge of the plant.
  2. Attach burlap to the stakes to the full height of the plant.
  3. Do not put burlap over the top or wrap the plant directly with burlap. Two rows may be necessary for tall plants