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Fairview’s Guide To Proper Planting And Care Of Your New Plants

4 min read | Oct 23, 2022 | Resources 

With proper planting and initial plant care, you will enjoy your trees, shrubs and perennials for many years to come! The experts at Fairview Greenhouses and Garden Center have come up with a few tips and tricks that are sure to be helpful to any gardener — novice or pro! From root teasing to soil conditioning water schedules, we have you covered!

Every plant you purchase is an investment, and we want you to be successful with your investments! Here are our tips for proper planting…


Before you plant, prepare the beds by roto tilling 8-12 inches of soil, this loosens the soil so that your plants will have lots of room to grow roots. Then add a 4-6 inch layer of organic matter mixed into the top layer of the soil. Manure, soil conditioner, or compost is ideal. Another method is to create raised beds backfilled with topsoil.

Fairview’s Picks:

  • Daddy Pete’s Plant Pleaser 2 cu. ft.
  • Cow Manure 50 lb.
  • Mushroom Compost 40 lb.


  1. Having good aeration and proper drainage is essential to the success of your plants, and correcting these problems after you have planted could be time consuming and costly.
  2.  It is a good idea to get a soil test of your beds prior to planting. Most perennials like to have a pH of around 5.5 – 6.5.
  3. Perennials can be planted anytime during the growing season. If roots are tightly root bound they can be loosened gently with your hands or a small knife. Place the plant in the hole at the same level as in the pot and then firm the soil around the plant to ensure there are no large air pockets around the root system.
  4. Water in thoroughly, and check the plants regularly for water until they are established. Water in the early morning hours to prevent leaf burn. Avoid watering in the evening to prevent disease.
  5. If you have a irrigation system check the amount of water being applied by placing an empty can in the beds to see how much water is actually being applied and adjust as necessary.

TREE AND SHRUB PLANTING – It’s as Easy as 1, 2, 3…

  1. Dig hole as deep or slightly deeper than rootball and twice as wide.
  2.  Loosen roots thoroughly – root bound plant roots will continue to circle eventually girdling the plant below ground if not corrected. Cut roots and gently pull apart.
  3. Set root ball into hole so that the top of crown is 1” – 2” higher than the soil to stimulate root growth.
  4.  Back fill hole with 2/3 existing soil and 1/3 soil conditioner. We recommend using a fertilizer at the time of planting as well to stimulate root growth
  5. Lightly tamp soil around plant to remove air pockets.
  6. Mulch 2-3” deep around tree or shrub trunk. This will help reduce weed germination and help retain moisture.
  7. Build a basin with mulch to allow water to seep down to roots without flowing away.
  8. Water your plants slowly, put hose on a trickle and let soak. Check that water had gotten down into roots by feeling with your fingers or by using a small trowel to dig to bottom of root ball (this can be done several weeks without damaging the roots).

Fairview’s Fertilizer Picks:

  • Biotone – Microbial plant food that activates your soil and brings it back to life. (for all plants)
  •  Hollytone – 4-6-4 NPK ratio plus micronutrients for a complete fertilizer, organic and great for acid loving plants.
  • Planttone – Great for you perennials, shrubs, or trees 5-3-3 N,P,K ratio as well as micronutrients. Organic.
  • Tree Tone – 9-5-4, N,P,K ratio, greens up your trees and slowly breaks down to fertilize over time. Organic.

    PROPER WATERING — The most important part of your plants success is water!

    1. Mulch will help reduce moisture loss.
    2. Use a slow trickle open hose end at the base of the plant. Feel with fingers that water has gone all the way to the roots.
    3. Give plants a steady soak, (slow and deep) every three days and rechecking every 2 to 4 days.
    4. Watering should be more frequent during drought (if permitted) or heavy wind situations.
    5.  Rain is only sufficient when 1 – 2” has fallen, and if adequate moisture was directly on root ball.
    6. Remember roots are confined to a small area-watering needs to be at the base of the plant.
    7.  Keep in mind that plants have different water requirements. Check with a member of our staff if you are unsure about a plant.
    8. It is as easy to overwater as it is to underwater which is why doing a finger or trowel test is helpful. Newly planted plants only get as much water as    provided to them by you and the environment because they haven’t grown feeder roots yet, thus making water critical for the first two years after planting!