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Planting tips

March 14, 2002|BY KEVIN CLAPP

Looking to plant a tree or shrub this spring? Here are some helpful hints from Laurie Morkved, landscape designer and horticulturist at Ott's Horticulture Center.

Wider is better

Most people erroneously think planting in a deep hole is best for plants, when Morkved says that can amount to creating a watery grave that will rot the plant's root ball.

Instead, a hole should be shallow enough to leave exposed the top of the root ball, while two to three times as wide since roots spread out, not down, as plants grow.

Add a natural blanket - in moderation

Mulch is a good thing, just not heaps of it. Morkved says thin layer of mulch will keep soil cool and moist in summer, warm in winter.

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Just establish a mulch-free zone in a ring around the stump. Otherwise, moisture retained by mulch can rot the base of the tree or shrub.

- Kevin Clapp

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