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Planting Instructions


Select the best location for your potted tree, shrub or perennial. Keep in mind plant requirements and how big the plant will get when it’s mature. To prevent stressing your new plants, the best time to get them in the ground is when it’s cloudy or the cooler part of the day. Remember to water your plants daily until they are ready to plant.


Dig a hole 2 to 3 times as wide on all sides as the diameter of the pot and approximately the same depth as the pot before planting. The soil at the bottom of the hole should be left solid to prevent the plant from settling lower. The finished level of the plant should always be the same as where it was grown, so that the top of the root ball is flush with final grade or even 1 inch higher – never lower. *Please note in clay soils, the root ball should be 3-5 inches above grade to allow for proper drainage.


Carefully remove the root ball from the plastic container and place the root ball in the planting hole. Use your fingers or a knife to gently loosen and spread exposed roots that appear crowded. To free very matted or circling roots, make several vertical cuts ½ – 1inch deep through the root mass. Always lift your plant by the container or root ball. A light tapping on the sides and rim will usually release the plant from the pot. If your plant comes in a fiber pot, leave it on! & cut slits through the sides and bottom. Many trees, shrubs and evergreens also have the root ball wrapped in burlap and secured with string or rope. These must be planted just the way they are, with the burlap & rope. Fill around the root ball with a good 3-Way soil mix to 3/4 of the way up the root ball, and water thoroughly. Then, untie all string or rope from the trunk or stems. Fold back burlap and ropes and tuck down out of sight.


Once the plant is in the hole, lightly pack the soil around the roots so the soil level is at the same grade as it was in the pot. Amend the soil that is removed from the hole with black top soil, potting soil or 3-Way mix. This is especially important when you have clay soil.


Apply a root development fertilizer such as Root Starter Fertilizer “10-52-10 or 5-15-5”, *If using decorative stone, DO NOT cover the base of the new plants, it will suffocate the new roots!


Winter Protection: The following plants should be protected with a burlap screen & Wilt Pruf®: Azaleas, Boxwoods, Hollys, Rhododendrons, Pieris, and Japanese Maples.

Tips for Healthy Plants

Plant Selection

  • Purchase plants which are appropriate for your site.
  • Note specific light conditions, moisture levels, and direction of exposure.
  • Consider desired size of material at time of planting, as well, as at maturity.
  • Acquaint yourself with special features, such as, flowering, fall color, & winter appearance.
  • Anticipate future maintenance associated with your selection (watering, pruning, fertilizing, etc.)

When to Plant

Our hardy nursery stock is grown directly in the container you purchase it in, or has been dug and potted at the proper time of year. This minimizes transplant shock to the roots, allowing for successful planting from April right through to November.

Planting in the Summer

  • Water to a depth of at least 10 cm (4”)
  • Never allow new plants to dry out.
  • Be aware of natural precipitation and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
  • Water early in the day.
  • Water at base of plant. (Not directly on foliage)
  • If in doubt, purchase a moisture meter.

Planting in the Fall

  • Autumn can be dry and warm so continue to pay attention to soil moistness.
  • As long as the soil is dark in colour and cool to the touch you don’t need to water that day.

Transplanting Existing Plants in your Garden

  • Early spring is the best time to move established plants before they leaf out.
  • Divide perennials in early spring or late autumn.

Watering (Do Not Listen to the Weather Report)

  • Newly planted material requires additional watering until the roots are established.
  • Check soil 3x/week between April 1st – December 1st.
  • Certain areas in your yard may dry out faster than others, especially in sunny areas and mounded beds.
  • Soak root areas well; avoid wetting leaves.
  • Adequate watering 2 or 3 times per week is preferred to a light watering every day
  • If the leaves are wilting or tired looking, water immediately. If leaves continue to wilt, there may be too much water.  (ie. Root Rot)


  • Enable your plants to thrive by offering care.
  • Prune off undesirable growth or broken branches; pruning encourages a full growth habit for the future. Inquire about timing for pruning your specific plants.
  • Mulch root areas for winter protection.
  • Spray dormant oil on deciduous plants in early spring.
  • If you notice holes in the leaves, insects, powdery mildew or black spots, wilting, etc. please put a couple leaves leaf in a bag and bring them to our Garden Centre so we can suggest a remedy.

**Your attention could save a plant’s life!**

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