When it comes to selecting plants for your landscape design, being an educated consumer will help save time and money. Learning a few basic plant selection tips will ensure that your investment will last for years to come.
Plants are sold in several ways:
- bedding plants – small plants that are sold in small plastic pots or trays.
- container plants – larger individual plants sold in either plastic or decomposable container
- balled and burlapped plants (pictured) – these are usually larger, more established specimens; commonly trees and shrubs are sold in this manner
- bare rooted plants – are usually sold in the late winter and early spring- common varieties are pecan trees and rosebushes.
With each variety special care in planting will assist you in ensuring your plant will transplant from nursery to yard without any casualties.
Bedding Plants Tips
For bedding plants, water the pot or tray thoroughly before planting.
Don’t attempt to simply pluck the plant from its pot, instead grasp the plant between your thumb and index finger, while turning the pot upside down.
Gently tap the bottom of the pot until the plant is released. If the plants are in a tray, simply squeeze the base of each cell of the tray ant the plant will release.
When planting container plants, first determine if it is in a plastic or decomposable container.
For plastic containers, use the same method for bedding plants as noted previously. If the plant is in a decomposable, pressed cell container- simple place it in the ground, but trimming the lip of the container helps to improve water penetration from the soil line.
In some cases, you may come across a plant that is in a tin container or other vessel that is challenging to remove.
In such cases the nursery may remove it for you, but if that’s not possible cutting the container on each side is the best method, be sure to use caution and wear heavy gloves whenever cutting any type of metal.
Balled Plant Tips
Balled or burlapped plants need to be handled gently, never lift the specimen by the trunk or stem; instead, carry it by the ball. Planting techniques are very similar to container plants.
Planting bare rooted plants require trimming of the roots so that they are uniform in length. Soak the roots in rainwater (if available) overnight. When planting, be sure not to over pack the roots in, fill the area gently with soil and water thoroughly. Watch closely, and respond to the plants needs promptly.