How to Plant Evergreen Shrubs
Evergreen shrubs are a good way to add privacy and plant life to your yard. There are several types to choose from, and each has its own characteristics. A unique effect can be created when different species are planted next to each other. The different textures and colors help pattern a hedge and make it more attractive.
For the best chances for survival, the shrubs should be uprooted very close to the time you wish to plant them. Another very important factor to consider is the time of year you will plant the shrubs. This changes according to variety, but a good rule of thumb is to either plant them in the spring before they start to grow or in the fall after growth has slowed.
Step 1 - Set Up
Before you begin anything, you need to do some footwork. The holes you will be digging are deep enough that you may hit a utility or phone line. Call your local companies to be sure you won’t rupture anything. If you are planning on planting near your property line, know the exact location of your boundary so that you don’t encroach on your neighbor's plot.
Step 2 - Prepare the Soil
Before you plant your shrub, you must be sure that the soil is conducive to growth. You need at least 1 foot of good topsoil. If your soil is mostly clay, add compost or manure. If your soil is hard it needs to be broken and manure or compost needs to be mixed into it. You also need to be sure that ground is well drained before you begin planting.
Step 3 - Dig a hole
Dig a hole for your shrub. As you dig, remove any poor quality soil and replace it with a mix of soil and compost. Dig the hole as deep as the plant was planted originally. You should be planting on solid ground so the plant will not settle lower than the surrounding soil. Be sure that the hole is 2 to 3 times as wide as the root ball.
TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Karen Thurber adds, "If planting a B&B shrub; place the shrub in the hole, remove all twine and wires near the trunk, burlap can be folded down or cut below the soil line. If in a wire basket- remove the top wires to prevent girdling . Water well to settle the plant, back fill with soil and water again."
Step 4 - Plant the Shrub
Remove the protective covering from the shrub's roots and place them in the ground. Keep as much of the original soil as you can. There's no need to remove it from the roots, just loosen it a little. Cover the roots with the displaced soil, and be sure to leave out the poor quality soil. Finally, thoroughly water the ground. This will help the soil settle and help the plant absorb vital nutrients.
TIP: Karen suggests, "If you are not installing drip irrigation, create a raised area around the drip line of the tree to hold the water close to the root ball. This will allow the water to soak further into the soil and your shrub to develop strong, deep, roots."
Repeat this procedure with as many evergreen shrubs as you plan on planting. If you wish, you can pattern the trees or plant them close together in order to form a privacy hedge. It is long and dirty work, but well worth the effort.