the primex

Planting Guide

step one

Enrich the Soil

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Enrich the soil with an organic soil amendment and a root stimulant. Our recommendation is to replace 1/3rd of the soil with organic matter (like compost, pine fines or Organic Bumper Crop) and mix it up well before backfilling around your plant. Using a root stimulant will facilitate growth and help your plant to establish quickly. Please refer to package directions for proper use. Primex carries a variety of soil amendments and root stimulants; our staff can help you select the best product for your plant.

step two

Dig the Hole

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Dig the hole at least twice as wide as and slightly shallower than the size of the root ball. When placed in the hole, the top of the root ball should be slightly above the surface of the ground. Do not bury the stem or trunk of the plant. More plants are lost because they were planted too deep than for any other reason.

  • Container Plants: Lightly water the soil. Ease the plant out of the container by inverting and supporting the root ball. Inspect the roots, if the root mass is growing in a tight compact circle, cut the roots by making several shallow slits along the sides and bottom. Gently tease out the roots to encourage new growth. Place the plant in the hole and fill in with enough amended soil to stabilize the plant.
  • Balled and Burlapped Plants: Lower the plant into the hole and partially backfill with enough amended soil to stabilize the plant at the proper planting depth. Once the plant is in position, remove all of the twine and rope around the trunk then fold down and remove most of the burlap around the root ball. Do not attempt to remove the burlap under the plant to avoid disturbing the root ball. If there is a metal cage around the root ball, it needs to be cut away completely.

step three


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Backfill around the plant with the amended soil (about halfway) then, water to remove air pockets around the roots. Continue to work the soil firmly by hand around the root ball. Avoid using excessive force which could compact the soil. Use the remaining soil to build a raised berm around the planting hole to form a “water basin.” This will allow water to collect and slowly percolate into the root zone of the plant. Be sure to water thoroughly, immediately after planting.

step four


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Mulching will retain moisture, keep weeds down and prevent mowers and trimmers from getting too close to the plant. Add mulch around newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials at a depth of 2 inches. Do not place mulch up against the trunk or stems of the plant, this can promote disease and pest injury.

step five

Plant Care

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The roots of newly planted trees, shrubs, and perennials are very sensitive to drying out. It is important to monitor soil moisture, especially during the first two years. Irrigate slowly to allow the water to percolate deeply into the soil, encouraging strong root growth. Plants should be watered thoroughly once a week (equivalent to 1 inch of rain) during the growing season. Using a soaker hose or Gator bag is our recommended method. During dry or hot weather, monitor soil moisture and watch for signs of wilting on a daily basis, watering as needed.

step six

Staking Trees

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Staking trees is typically unnecessary because the root ball should hold the tree in place. If your tree shifts in the hole or begins to lean, consider staking to correct the problem. Our staff can suggest the best staking practices for your site.