Planting Bare Root
1. Moisten the Roots
We recommend watering your bare root plant to moisten the roots as soon as you get it home. This is also a good time to inspect the roots and prune away any that are frayed or broken.
2. Dig the Planting Hole Diagram “A”
Dig the planting hole slightly wider than the root spread and as deep as the roots will allow so the ground soil level will cover the top of the roots. Make a firm cone of soil in the hole, reaching nearly to the surface. Spread roots over the cone, positioning the plant so the graft (indicated by the first major branch, or a swelling or crook on the lower trunk) will be at least 1 inch above the soil level when finished. Planting too deep may cause diseases.
3. Soil Amendments
We recommend adding approximately 25% compost or planting mix to the soil to be backfilled. If the native soil is heavy clay, you might add ground bark to improve drainage. Swansons recommends Gardner & Bloome™ Soil Building Conditioner or EB Stone™ Planting Compost.
4. Place the Plant & Water Thoroughly Diagram “B”
Once the plant is positioned in the hole, cover the roots with amended soil, tamp down gently to keep the plant firmly in place. Slowly soak with water to full depth of the roots. If the plant settles when the soil is saturated, gently pull the plant up and down to raise it to the proper level.
5. Mulch Diagram “C”
After your plant is watered in and set at the correct level, fill in any remaining soil. Then make a ridge of soil around the hole to form a watering basin. A mulch layer 1 to 2 inches thick will help retain soil moisture and keep down weeds. Keep mulch away from direct contact with the trunk to prevent crown rot.
If you can’t plant your plant today, keep the roots moist by covering them with moist sawdust, compost, bark or even soil. It should be planted (even if into a temporary container for the year) within a week or two.
We hope you enjoy your new plant! Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.