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Garden tips planting native plants

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Instructions for planting native plants successfully.

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Garden tips planting native plants

  1. 1. Gardening Tip: Planting Native Plants Here are a few tips to increase your success with planting of Western native plants: • Be sure the ground is moist. If rains have not moistened the ground, give the whole area a good soaking the day before planting. • Dig a planting hole that is just a little bit wider and deeper than the pot in which the plant is growing. The old ‘wisdom’ of digging a big hole doesn’t work as well for native plants. The sooner a native plant’s roots can grow into garden soil the better; a smaller hole accomplishes that. • Don’t amend the soil in the planting hole. Amendments are not needed, and may actually discourage good root growth. Just backfill the bottom of the hole with a little loose soil; that’s all you need to do. • If the soil surrounding the hole is dry, fill the hole with water and let it drain before planting. Once again, this will encourage roots to grow out into the surrounding soil. • Remove the plant from the pot gently. Hit the sides and bottom of the pot firmly with your hand to dislodge the plant. Then turn the pot upside down, and let the plant drop into your hand. • Loosen the roots by rubbing the root ball with the palm of your hand (above). Just a gentle rub, all over, to loosen pot-bound roots and stimulate them to grow. • Check the depth of the hole. The potting soil surrounding the plant should be level with the ground. Add or remove soil as needed (below) before placing the plant in the hole. • Fill in the planting hole with garden soil. You’ll have plenty left from digging the hole. Be sure to fill in the holes all around the plant. • Press down soil firmly around the plant. We often also gently step on the soil to be sure that plant roots are in good contact with the soil. This step is critical for getting roots to grow into the soil and establish a good root system quickly. • If no rain is predicted, water in the plant with a good sprinkling with a hose or watering can. • Mark the new plant with a colored flag. You may also want to identify the plant with a permanent marker. • Take a picture of the new plant for your records.