Planting Advice

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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.
  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.

This elevated planting method is rather different, but simply works better. Trees2Go once planted, for 17 years, offering a full 2-year warranty. Learned a thing or two.

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

Be forewarned that an elevated planting is akin to a low berm, which requires a lot of soil, as well as additional mulch. On the plus side, there is a lot less digging!

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4920 Mial Plantation Road, Raleigh, NC 27610
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