Installing Smaller Plants

Installing Smaller Container Grown Plants

 into the Northeast Florida Landscape


Installing smaller plants into the landscape 4 inch Zinnia S & J Tree Farm and Nursery

     For smaller Nursery plants like
seedlings, 4 inch flowers or one gallon grasses, flowers or small shrubs the
recommended
 planting process here in Northeast Florida differs a
bit from the way we install larger growing trees and shrubs. The difference
in the planting process is due to the fact that the roots of the plants will not grow large
enough
 to grow beyond the area of amended soil we plant in. Unlike
large trees that can have roots reaching far out into neighboring yards, smaller growing plants will
have a very confined root system. This smaller area of root growth allows us to amend the soil heavily,
even in some cases replacing the native soil completely with potting soil, compost, leaf mold, peat moss
etc
.

Installing larger plants into the landcape? Click on this link for
help with installing larger shrubs and trees into the Norhtheast Florida
landscape
.


 

Simple Steps to Installing Smaller Plants

into the Northeast Florida Landscape

Installing smaller plants into a raised burm1 –  Dig the hole much wider and just a
bit deeper
 than the size of the pot you purchased. We recommend making the planting hole at
least three times as wide as the container grown plant you purchased.

2
   
Add your chosen soil amendments and
mix into the native soil. With smaller plants, you may choose to use just a little bit of
soil amendment if you have good black healthy well draining soil, amend the soil to the point where it no longer
resembles the native soil, or completely replace it with new compost, potting soil, etc. depending on your plants
needs.

*If planting multiple smaller container grown plants into an area, you may opt to pre dig and
amend the soil in the entire planting area first. Loosen the existing soil by digging it up with a shovel and
placing it back into dug area, add chosen soil amendment and mix together so that the entire planting area can be
amended at one time.Installing smaller plants into a raised burm correctly

3
   Gently remove the plant from the
container
 by placing your hand over the top of the pot with the stems and foliage in between and
above your fingers. Place the other hand on the bottom of the plastic pot. Tip the container sideways or completely
upside down onto the hand touching the dirt, and use the other hand to pull on the root system free of the plastic
container.

 Use caution not to damage the stems on soft stemmed plants like vegetables and flowers,
both the roots and the leaves of a plant can be handled, tugged, pulled on if necessary or even squished with
little to no damage to the plants growth, but the soft stems are vulnerable. The smaller your container is the more
careful you will have to be to not damage the soft stems on young plants. If you crush the stem with your fingers
when removing the plant from the soil, you will damage the plants water and nutrient transport system, so use a
little caution when removing plants and flowers with non woody stems. ( Just think…. grab them by the hair, not
he neck! )

Installing small plants to low at grade level wrong4 –  Loosen the roots growing
at the edges and bottom of the container grown plant by pulling at the exposed roots until
the roots have begun to separate from the soil ball. This step will help your new plant get growing into the
surrounding soil quickly.

5 –  Place your plant into the pre
dug hole, make sure that the roots system of the container grown plant will be level or slightly higher than the
soil around it. It is crucial to your plants survival that no soil is placed on
top of the existing root system of the container grown plant that you purchased.
 The soil that
was exposed to the air in the container should be exposed to the air when your planting is finished.

6 –  Water the entire planting with a
“rain wand” attachment that will soften the flow of water coming from your hose. DInstaling small plants at grade properlyaily watering will be needed on all newly installed plants for a
few weeks after planting your small container grown plants during
the establishment period. Some plants will require supplemental irrigation once or twice a week
after that
 for the best results.

7-  Mulch as needed, pay particular
attention to not mulch near the stems of soft wooded flowers, vegetables or plants. Leave a circle a few
inches away from the stems of the plant unmulched
.