Planting

When // The ideal time to plant is spring and fall when temperatures are mild and soil is generally moist and hospitable. However, with a little extra care, you can plant anytime the ground isnt frozen.

Dig // Dig a hole that is aproximately 6-12 inches wider than the root ball and just deep enough so the top 2-3 inches are above the soil level to accommodate for drainage and soil settling.

Mix // Add Super Phosphate 0-18-0* to the bottom of the hole to stimulate root growth. The mix equals parts of Altum’s Soil Amendment and backfill soil. For acid-loving plants (e.g. rhododendrons, azaleas, and evergreens), add Iron Plus* to the backfill.

Plant // Remove your plants from their plastic contaitners and gently loosen roots with your hand or cut entangled roots down vertically. We invite you to bring them to our Drop-Your-Pots Recycling Zone, an easy way to be green.

For balled and burlapped material, cut cords or ropes after placing root ball in the hole. Leave the burlap material and wire cage around the ball for ultimate protection. Fill hole with enriched soil (see above) and use your foot or hoe to gently tamp down the soil, eliminating air pockets. Cover the exposed root ball with a thin layer of backfill.

Water // See “Watering”

Mulch // Add approximately 3 inches of mulch (covering the exposed root ball), being careful not to pack mulch tightly around the trunk.

*follow package direction

 Watering

New Plants // Water slowly and generously, being sure to wet the soil to the depth of the original container or root ball. All newly planted items should be thoroughly soaked at least once a week from spring until the ground freezes in fall (more frequently in very hot weather).

Very small plants, such as groundcover, perennials, and flowering annuals have smaller root systems and will require a deep, thorough watering every 3-4 days. We also recommend an application of Root Stimulator* just after planting and weekly for six weeks, especially during warm summer months.

Established Plants // Generally, the watering guide for new plants should be followed for 1-2 years after planting to ensure good root development and plant establishment. Beyond that, water plants throughout drier summer months to avoid placing them under unnecessary stress.

Fertilizing

Acid-loving Plants

For all evergreens apply Iron Plus* once in the spring and once in the fall.

Deciduous Trees and Shrubs

10-10-10* in April and after leaf drop in fall.

Groundcover

10-10-10* in April.

Perennials

10-10-10* in mid-March and again 6 weeks later.

Annuals

Use Fertilome’s Start N Grow slow release fertilizer when planting. For best results, use Fertilome’s Blooming and Rooting water soluble fertilzer every 10 to 14 days to promote growth and blooms.

Pruning

PRUNING CAN BE INTIMIDATING, but armed with information–and well maintained tools–you can easily rejuvenate and maintain the natural shape and size of your plants. If you dont know what type of plant you’re working with, simply snip off a small piece and we’d be happy to identify the variety and best pruning plan.

Spruces and Pines

June or July by cutting the “candle” (new) growth in half.

Broadleaf or Needle Evergreens

Shape in April through July and mid-September through October as needed.

Deciduous Trees

The best time to prune is late winter. Birches and maples should always be pruned after leaf drop to avoid excessive sap flow.

Deciduous Shrubs

The key here is bloom time. For shrubs that bloom before June, prune after flowering. For shrubs that bloom after June, prune in March before the shrub begins to leaf out.

All Plants

Trim out dead, diseased, or broken branches anytime.

Rule of the Green Thumb // Prune 1/4-inch above a bud facing the outside of the pant to force new growth in that direction.