One of the garden projects I have been working on lately reminded me how not to plant shrubs. These shrubs were not planted deep enough so the root balls heaved out of the soil this past winter. As a result, the row of shrubs were all dead, and very unsightly. When I dug them up (didn’t even require a shovel, they came out quite easily) the root balls were still in the shape of the pots. So were the holes.
The correct way to plant a shrub (and most perennials and trees too) is to:
- dig a hole twice as wide as the pot the shrub came in and the same depth
- remove the shrub from the pot and loosen the root ball
- if the shrub is very root bound, use a sharp knife or trowel to scarify (gently scrape/loosen) the roots
- add water to the hole before and after planting the shrub
- water daily until shrub is established, (one week) preferably in the morning
- ensure plant crown is neither too deep or too far above ground. Roses do prefer their crown just below soil level