Planting for success

So you’ve been to the nursery and bought a car-load of plants. Fantastic!

When you get home:
If you cannot plant your plants straight away, then your plants must be watered every day without fail. Otherwise they will dry out and die before you even plant them.

Preparing the soil:
Plants can’t grow if their roots can’t grow out into the surrounding soil, so it is important that the soil is thoroughly dug up and loosened before you plant. Once the soil is thoroughly prepared, all you need to do is dig a hole just a little larger than the pot that the plant is in. If the soil is thoroughly prepared, this should be a very easy job with a spade or even just your bare hands.

Planting:
Remove the plant gently from the pot by tipping it carefully upside down and sliding the pot off. Be very careful that the potting mix does not fall away from the roots. DO NOT TEASE THE ROOTS OUT – this is an old wives’ tale left over from a bygone era, and will almost certainly kill your native plants.

Place the plant gently in the hole so that the top of the root ball is just below the soil surface. Back-fill around the root-ball with fine friable soil. Gently firm the soil around the plant. Do not stomp on or compact the soil.

DO NOT add fertiliser to the hole. Yuruga’s plants have long-life fertiliser in the potting mix – plenty to last for a couple of months. It is incredibly easy to kill a young plant with fertiliser, and this is one of the major causes of death in new plantings. Better to be safe than sorry, so DON’T FERTILISE WHEN PLANTING!

Watering:
Water every plant as soon as you have planted it, with at least a bucket-full of water. As the weather gets hotter and drier in the next couple of months, this will become more and more important. Failure to water enough when you plant is the highest cause of death in new plantings.

Mulching:
Cover the soil around your plants with a thick layer of organic mulch.

Staking:
Avoid staking if possible, since this only encourages weak stems and trunks. A light pruning is often all that’s needed to make a plant stand upright on its own, or alternatively prop it up with a log or rock so that there is still room for movement. If staking is really necessary, tie the plant as loosely as possible, and remove the tie as soon as possible.

Happy planting!
Peter and Ann

PS… When you buy your plants, take them home in a covered vehicle. Don’t put them in the back of an open ute, since this is equivalent to exposing them to Cyclone Yasi!