Hold the Fertilizer                                                                                                 For ad...
P    lanting ornamental plants correctly not only     increases their survivability and performance inthe landscape, it al...
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Proper Planting Results in Healthy, Water-Efficient Plants: Make Every Drop Count - University of Georgia

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Proper Planting Results in Healthy, Water-Efficient Plants: Make Every Drop Count - University of Georgia

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Proper Planting Results in Healthy, Water-Efficient Plants: Make Every Drop Count - University of Georgia

  1. 1. Hold the Fertilizer For additional information on saving water in Make Every Drop Count! Granular fertilizers can dehydrate the roots of 2. Raise the bed to assure good drainage and the landscape, see Georgia Cooperative Extension visibility of the display. Bulletin 1073, Xeriscape: A Guide to Developingnewly planted plants. Since plants are alreadystressed from the planting process, wait until they Elevate the bed 8 to 12 inches above the a Water-wise Landscape on the Web at http://pubs. Proper plantingare established before fertilizing. Once established,lightly sprinkle a complete fertilizer, such as 8-8- surrounding landscape. caes.uga.edu/caespubs/pubcd/B1073.htm. Also visit http://www.caes.uga.edu/topics/disasters/drought/ results in healthy,8 or 10-10-10, along the perimeter of the plantinghole. Compost incorporated into the soil at planting 3. Follow the 3/12 rule. Place 3 inches of organic amendment on the soil or contact your local county Cooperative Extension office by calling 1-800-ASK-UGA1. water-efficienttime add nutrients and does not injure the roots likechemical fertilizers. surface and incorporate it to a 12-inch depth. Organic matter adds nutrients while improving PREPARED BY: plants soil tilth and water retention. Robert R. Westerfield and Gary L. Wade The University of Georgia, Department of HorticultureMulch is a Moisture Mizer 4. Recycle newspaper holds moisture in the Georgia’s soil. Applying 3 to 5 inches of mulch to the soil surface Soak newspaper briefly in a bucket of water ENDORSED BY: populationis an important step in the planting process. Mulches and place two sheets thick on the soil before growth is placingmaintain a uniform moisture level in the soil andprevent weeds that compete with plants for moisture. planting. Hide the newspaper by covering it with an ever-increasingFine-textured mulches, such as pine straw, pine bark an organic mulch, like pinestraw, pine bark or strain on water In summer, hardwood mulch. residentialmulch, or shredded hardwood mulch, do a better supply.job of conserving moisture in the soil than coarse- 5. Place a slow-release fertilizer in the water use increasestextured mulches, like large-nugget bark. planting hole. significantly when Time-released fertilizers, such as Osmocote, citizens use water placed in the planting hole beneath the plant, outdoors for landscape provide season-long nutrients and do not injure the roots like granular fertilizers. Look for a maintenance, product with an 8 to 9 month release duration. recreation and cleaning. 6. Mulch with a fine-textured organic material. As water Apply 3 to 5 inches of pine straw, pinebark mulch The University of Georgia and Ft. Valley State University, the U.S. becomes more or shredded hardwood mulch on the soil surface Department of Agriculture and counties of the state cooperating. limited, water to hold moisture in the soil. Cooperative Extension, the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, offers educational conservation is essential.Six Simple Steps to a Water- programs, assistance and materials to all people without regard to race, color, national origin, age, gender or disability. A water-wise landscapewise Annual Flower Bed An Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Organization Committed to a Diverse Work Force can reduce outdoor1. Think small, but plan for high impact. Publication C895-3 July 2006 water use by as Small beds in high impact areas of the landscape Make Every Drop Count... provide eye-catching displays. Because seasonal Our Future Depends on It! Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, The University of Georgia College of Agricultural much as 50%. color requires regular watering, limit the size of and Environmental Sciences and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. the bed to 50 square feet or less. A bed 50 sq. ft. J. Scott Angle, Dean and Director in size can be watered efficiently with 3 gallons per day. PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER
  2. 2. P lanting ornamental plants correctly not only increases their survivability and performance inthe landscape, it also helps them develop a vigorous, To check soil drainage before planting, dig a hole approximately 15 inches deep by 15 inches Inorganic amendments are either mined or man- made. Examples are vermiculite, perlite, pea gravel, shale, and coarse sand. They are used to improve Don’t Be Afraid to Rough it Up When container-grown plants are removed from their pots, inspect the roots to see if they appear pot-healthy root system that increases their drought in diameter and fill it with water. If water is left the structure and drainage of a soil. Unlike organic bound (a mass of dense roots along the outer edge oftolerance during periods of limited rainfall. This standing in the hole after 1 hour, the site may be amendments, these products have little nutritional the root ball). If so, use your hand or a knife to openpublication provides research-based guidelines for poorly drained. If water remains in the hole for value. up the root mass before planting. Although this mayproper planting. several hours, site improvements are needed. Apply organic amendments, 3 inches deep on appear harmful to the plant, it actually encourages the soil surface and incorporate them uniformly to a new root growth while allowing water to move freely 12-inch depth. One cubic yard of organic matter perFall Planting is Best Deep tilling the entire planting area: 100 square feet (14 – 2 cu. ft. bags) provide 3 inches into the root ball. Fall is the ideal time to plant trees, shrubs, vines, • Improves soil structure on the soil surface.groundcovers, and herbaceous perennials. Cool fall • Allows plant roots to grow without If your soil dries out quickly or becomes rock Pull Back the Burlaptemperatures are less stressful to plants than the heat impediment hard when dry, add organic matter. It is one of the Some garden centers sell balled-and-burlappedof late spring and summer because there is less • Permits water to move freely throughout best investments you’ll make in your water-wise (B&B) trees and shrubs at certain times of year.evaporative water loss from the foliage. Plants the soil to the roots landscape. When planting B&B plants, cut the wire or cordestablished during fall require less frequent A good soil structure encourages rapid around the trunk and pull the burlap off the root ball,irrigation and are less likely to suffer sun plant establishment and a healthy root so it does not impede root growth. On large trees,scorch or heat-related stress than those system. As roots grow, they increase their it may not be practical to remove all the burlap, butplanted in spring and summer. ability to extract nutrients and water. pull it away from the top one-third of the root ball. Another advantage of fall planting When planting a solitary plant inis that above-ground portions of the undisturbed soil, dig the plantingplant stop growing and go dormant hole at least two times wider than Too Deep ? Too Shallow?soon after planting, so there is less the width of the root ball. Researchdemand on the roots for water. Roots, shows that a wide planting hole Just Right?on the other hand, do not go dormant provides a favorable environment for Planting depth is critical. Always set the top ofand continue to grow all winter long. root growth and results in rapid plant the root ball level with the soil surface. PlantingSo when spring arrives, a healthy, well- establishment. The old adage “never put too deeply may restrict oxygen movement to thedeveloped root system will be in place to a ten dollar tree in a two dollar hole” has roots, which results in root suffocation. Planting tooabsorb water and nutrients been validated by science. shallow may expose roots to sun and wind which may cause them to dry out and die.Good Soil, Good Roots Amendments Pay Dividends An ideal soil for optimal plant health There are two types of soil amendments: Don’t Forget the Berm ! organic and inorganic. Organic amendments Once plants are in the ground, use yourcontains pores for good drainage and has Water Plants Thoroughly come from something that was once alive. hands to shape a shallow berm, 4 to 6 inchesgood water holding capacity. It also containssome organic matter that supplies nutrients and Examples are composted yard waste, livestock Before Planting high, along the perimeter of the planting manure, or peatmoss. Organic amendments: hole. This will help funnel water to the rootsimproves soil structure and texture. A poorly The structure and texture of the soil in your • Improve the water retention, oxygen each time you water during the establishmentdrained or compacted soil can shut down landscape is different from the prepared media or infiltration, and nutrient-holding period. Once the plant is established (4 to 6 weeksa plant’s root system, encourage disease field soil in which the plants were grown in the capacity of a soil after planting), use a rake to pull the bermed-upproblems, and cause runoff and wasted nursery. Therefore, it is difficult to re-wet a dry root • Provide beneficial fungi and bacteria, soil outward and away from the planting hole.water. ball once it is in the ground. To avoid this problem, earthworms, and other living organisms Otherwise, it may erode over the roots and cause always water plants thoroughly before removing that improve nutrient availability and root suffocation. them from their containers or burlap. aeration of the soil

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