Watering Your Native Plants
Water your plant thoroughly once at home and let the water soak through the soil. If you cannot plant it within a few days of receiving it, you can leave the plant outside in partial sun and monitor its moisture.
Water your plant well after putting it in the ground, and make sure it stays well watered for the first year to let it get established. The best time to water your garden is early in the morning, before the sun is high. If you live in a humid climate, watering at this time lets the sun evaporate the standing water from the foliage of your plants, preventing mildew. And in all climates, you will lose less water to evaporation by the sun’s rays if you apply it early in the day.
Planting Your Native Plants
One of the most important aspects of successful landscape gardening is planting correctly. Extra time and effort at this stage will pay dividends later on as trees or shrubs grow and mature. The use of quality plants, proper pruning, adequate water, fertilization and lime seldom compensate for poor planting.
Container plants can be bought and planted successfully anytime during the year as long as adequate water is provided. Our best planting season begins around October and continues until December. January through March can be a suitable planting season if soils aren’t too wet or frozen. Only plant in April through September if forced to. High temperatures make watering tricky and plant survival a real challenge.
Dig a hole at least two times wider than your plant’s root ball, but no deeper than the height of the root ball. Azaleas and Rhododendron have shallow root systems and prefer to have some leg room to spread out. If planted too deep, the roots won’t have the proper amount of moisture and airflow and the plant will stress and die. When planting container-grown plants, be sure to disturb the root zone area of the plant before placing in the hole. Because container plants are usually grown in high organic soil mixes, we recommend adding organic matter to the backfill. Be sure to blend this into the backfill, again using as much native soil as possible.
Fertilizing Your Native Plants
When it comes to fertilizing, don’t place fertilizer into the planting hole in concentrated amounts as it can seriously injure the roots. Do your first surface fertilizations 6 to 9 months after planting, but never in the summer. Use a complete organic fertilizer with a maximum of 10% nitrogen at an annual rate of 3 to 4 cups per 100 square feet of ground. Split this amount into 2 half applications in spring and early fall.
Good luck and call us if you have any questions!