Planting Advice

(go to FAQ page)

Elevated Planting Method

Illustration of elevated planting method.

~ ~ Plant it high, rarely die ~ ~
~ ~ Plant it low, rarely grow
~ ~

  1. Clear planting area of debris, Do NOT rototill area.
  2. Place pot in position, as a template.
  3. Mark edge of hole, just 2″ to 3″ from side of pot.
  4. Dig, but NOT as deep as rootball. Place diggings around top edge of hole.
  5. Carefully remove plant from pot. Pull & spread out loose roots.
  6. Cut long & tightly wound roots from around plant, to prevent girdling.
  7. Elevate about 1/3 above grade (1/5 if plant is a moisture-lover).
  8. Add a mix of diggings and planting soil into trench, up to grade level.
  9. Lock plant into place by ‘stuffing’ soil with blunt tool. Maybe use top end of shovel.
  10. Add rooting hormone in trench, against roots.
  11. Add long-term fertilizer in trench.
  12. Spread more soil.
  13. Add water-absorbing hydro-gel (comes as crystalline form).
  14. Spread a final layer of soil.
  15. Tamp all firmly into place.
  16. Spread a layer of hardwood mulch (3″ max).
  17. Keep soil & mulch off top of rootball, so plant can breathe.
  18. Add mulch to mound as needed, as animals, people, and weather wear down mound.

This elevated planting method is rather different, but survives better. Trees2Go installed for 17 years (until 2020).

Try Googling images of “tree planting method“. MOST of those diagrams show plants set at or below grade, at risk of drowning (especially in a clay bed).

Now try “garden planting method“. See the raised beds? This keeps tops of rootballs above even the heaviest of downpours. If it WORKS for veggies, it will WORK for plants.


  • won’t drown in heavy clay soil
  • less sinking into sandier soils
  • less fungi/rot issues, as roots breathe better
  • stronger in storms, as roots burrow into undisturbed grade nearby


  • requires much more soil, to build a taller bed
  • requires more mulch, to cover a wider planting
  • requires a little more watering, in the early years
  • requires fixing mound as needed, from foot & weather damage

919-266-7939 or
4920 Mial Plantation Road
Raleigh, NC 27610
~ please, no visitors ~
plants are at local growers
~ website is our store ~