The Biggest Planting Mistake Is Planting Too Deep - 27 East

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The Biggest Planting Mistake Is Planting Too Deep

Number of images 5 Photos
This balled and burlapped Bradford pear tree was about to be planted in a hole dug deep enough and wide enough. But the landscape contractor never checked the native soil, only to find out that it was heavy clay with little to no drainage. It’s not enough to simply dig a hole.  Know what’s under the hole, and check the native soil for proper drainage.
ANDREW MESSINGER

This balled and burlapped Bradford pear tree was about to be planted in a hole dug deep enough and wide enough. But the landscape contractor never checked the native soil, only to find out that it was heavy clay with little to no drainage. It’s not enough to simply dig a hole. Know what’s under the hole, and check the native soil for proper drainage. ANDREW MESSINGER

The same Juniper, but pulled out of the pot. The root mass shows that while the roots are well formed the plant is not yet pot-bound, a good thing. By simply pushing your fingers into the root mass, most of the roots can be teased out and opened up easily. Note that the soil has sand in it to aid in drainage and the small round “prills” or pellets near the top of the soil are time-release fertilizer pellets used at the nursery. ANDREW MESSINGER

The same Juniper, but pulled out of the pot. The root mass shows that while the roots are well formed the plant is not yet pot-bound, a good thing. By simply pushing your fingers into the root mass, most of the roots can be teased out and opened up easily. Note that the soil has sand in it to aid in drainage and the small round “prills” or pellets near the top of the soil are time-release fertilizer pellets used at the nursery. ANDREW MESSINGER

This Compact Andorra Juniper was found at a “home” center. Grown in a 2-gallon pot, it appears to be healthy and a good candidate for planting. But what does the root system look like? ANDREW MESSINGER

This Compact Andorra Juniper was found at a “home” center. Grown in a 2-gallon pot, it appears to be healthy and a good candidate for planting. But what does the root system look like? ANDREW MESSINGER

These are nursery-grown Saxifrages or Mossy Pinks in 2-pint containers. The root mass on the plant on the right is fairly tight with no soil falling off when unpotted.  
ANDREW MESSINGER

These are nursery-grown Saxifrages or Mossy Pinks in 2-pint containers. The root mass on the plant on the right is fairly tight with no soil falling off when unpotted. ANDREW MESSINGER

A closer view of the roots in the unpotted Mossy Pink. If planted like this, the roots will continue to grow mostly in the same circular pattern. To encourage better rooting and root growth, use your fingers to pull the roots and tease them out. When replanting, work the backfill soil in and around the roots to remove air pockets and insure good soil contact.  It only takes the roots of perennials a few weeks to reestablish and begin exploring into the surrounding soil.  Remember: Tease the roots out, don’t rip them apart.  ANDREW MESSINGER

A closer view of the roots in the unpotted Mossy Pink. If planted like this, the roots will continue to grow mostly in the same circular pattern. To encourage better rooting and root growth, use your fingers to pull the roots and tease them out. When replanting, work the backfill soil in and around the roots to remove air pockets and insure good soil contact. It only takes the roots of perennials a few weeks to reestablish and begin exploring into the surrounding soil. Remember: Tease the roots out, don’t rip them apart. ANDREW MESSINGER

Autor

Hampton Gardener®

We’re now into prime planting season when it comes to many trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials and veggies. When planting, you usually only get one chance, so here are some tips... more

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