GROWING GUIDE: Planting Basics

It is very important for your new plants to receive the best possible start in your garden.

Step 1 Water your plants as soon as you get them home.

Step 2 Dig the planting hole.

Step 3 Prepare the soil with soil amendment and transplant fertilizer.

Step 4 Prepare the roots for planting.

Step 5 Place the plant in the planting hole.

Step 6 Fill in with the amended soil and water thoroughly.

Step 7 Add mulch.


Follow the detailed planting, watering and care guidelines to ensure that your plant gets a healthy start!

Step 1: Keep your plants in a shaded area and well watered until you are ready to plant.

Step 2: Dig a hole that measures 2-3 times as wide and the same depth as the root ball of your plant.

Step 3: If needed, amend the soil removed from the planting hole with a soil amendment like Northwest Best Soil Builder and Top Dressing. You can also use your own home made compost. Blend about 1/3 of the amendment with 2/3 of native soil. Add transplant fertilizer to the blended soil. Use this amended soil to backfill around the plant. We strongly recommend both compost and transplant fertilizer.

Step 4: Containerized plants – Remove the plant from the container. Make cuts to the roots about 2” apart running down the length of the plant, making sure the roots are not circling the plant.

Encircling roots will inhibit growth of your plant. Loosen the roots on all sides and the bottom. Balled & burlaped plants – Peel back the burlap from the top of the plant (do not entirely remove). Cut and remove the rope protecting the root ball. Find the trunk flare (where the trunk meets the large roots) by pushing the soil away from the base of the trunk.

Step 5: Place the root ball in the hole. The soil level in the container should be level with the soil surface. Planting too deeply will eventually kill the plant.

Step 6: Fill the hole halfway using some of the amended soil mixed with the appropriate amount of transplant fertilizer. (step 3) Water the soil to remove large air pockets and allow it to drain. Continue replacing the soil until the hole is filled to ground level.

Step 7: Apply 2 to 3 inches of organic mulch over the planting area. Do not mound up or place mulch against the base of the plant. Mulch will keep the roots cool and moist.