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Tips for successful planting in your garden

So you’ve just trotted down to the nursery, found the tree that you’ve always wanted, and selected the best specimen from the available stock. That’s the easy bit. Now you’re back home you are eager to get it in the ground see it grow! To give it the best chance of success, here are a few pointers:

1. Give the plant a good water while it is still in the pot. This will ensure the root ball is fully soaked, assisting the plant to absorb water from the surrounding soil when planted. Adding a seaweed based product like Seasol to the water will promote healthy root growth, and will assist in reducing transplant shock.

2. Dig the hole at least twice the size of the root ball, particularly the depth if possible. This allows the roots to grow down and out with relative ease. If the soil is heavy clay add some gypsum to improve the soil structure and drainage. Add some organic material, such as compost, and a good fertiliser that suits the plant (check the requirements). Water the hole and let it drain.

3. Remove the plant from the pot keeping the roots as intact as possible. If the plant is root bound (quite often the case with nursery plants), gently tease the bottom roots. Be careful with the roots as this can cause shock to the plant.

4. Put the plant in the hole and backfill with the soil that was removed when digging the hole. Make sure that all the root ball is completely covered and firm the soil down around the plant. Try to make the level of the soil around the base of the plant slightly lower than the surrounding soil, so any rain will naturally stay around the plant.

5. Water in the plant. Give it a good drink. It helps to ensure the roots get good contact with the soil and reduces transplant shock.

6. Finally, add some mulch around the plant. This helps to maintain moisture in the soil, provides additional organic matter and helps with microbial activity. Just make sure to keep the mulch away from the trunk, as this can cause trunk rot.

That’s it - you’ve given it the best chance of success!