The Art of Planting: A One Stop Guide

The Art of Planting: A One-Stop Guide

Planting a new plant is a fulfilling and rewarding experience. It allows you to nurture life as well as make your property beautiful. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a first-timer with a green thumb, understanding the proper techniques is key. Knowing these techniques will make a significant difference in the health and growth of your plants. In this blog post, we’ll give you a guide on how to plant a plant, ensuring that you give it the best start for a flourishing finish.

Before You Begin

Finding new plants for your garden can be fun and exciting, picking and choosing your favorite flowers, shrubs, etc. But jumping the gun by buying plants first can hinder growth later on. Before choosing your garden, it is vital you know what kind of soil you have. Different plants complement different soils, and you may need to better your soil prior to planting. First, check the consistency of the soil, does it fall easily through your fingers? If so your soil is Sandy. Or is it sticky and muddy? If so your soil has a lot of clay particles in it. Somewhere between these two types is ideal, this type of soil is often known as friable. It means that roots will more easily be ready to spread. 

It will be challenging to dig in heavy clay soil, and you will need a lot of well-rotted manure or compost to strengthen the framework. Additionally, if you are faced with sandy soil you will need to add organic material as it will increase fertility. After checking the type of soil it is important to measure your pH levels. A majority of plants need a pH range of 6 between neutral to acidic, but this is not true for ericaceous plants, this species of plants needs higher levels of acidity. Although it is difficult, you can adjust the pH of your soil by adding acid compost or by making an acid-raised bed or container. 

Develop a Plan 

Making a planting plan is a smart idea if you’re fortunate enough to have a brand-new garden or have made a new bed and know the plants you want. A good way to get a visual of your future garden is to cut out images from magazines, or print off pictures from a computer, once you have them you can now play around with different arrangements and see what you like the most. Then when your plants arrive you will have an idea of what you want and how to proceed. Make sure you pay attention to the direction and spacing each plant will need when developing a layout for your garden. 


Now that your soil is prepped and your plan is made, it is time to plant. Although digging a hole and placing your plant or seed inside of it may seem simple, it can actually be quite complicated. The following sections will explain how to plant different types of plants.

Planting bare-root shrubs and trees

When you are ready to plant dig a hole that is two to two and a half times wider than the tree’s root system. The hole depth needs to match the distance between the tree’s flared trunk and the base of its roots. The trunk flare is the point where the trunk starts to flare as it approaches the roots. When you finish digging your hole, build a cone-shaped mound of soil in the middle of your hole. Position the tree on the mound. To know if you have done it right, look to see if the tree flare is about even with the soil surface. Then, spread the roots evenly over the mound. Once these steps are complete begin backfilling the original soil back in the hole, as you backfill make sure to firm the soil with your hands all the way up to the trunk flare. Now that your tree is successfully planted, water thoroughly. 

A couple of final things to be aware of is these types of plants are usually grafted. Meaning they are actually two different trees fused together. This will create a bulge or crook in the tree, make sure to not confuse this abnormality with the trunk flare, for reference the graft is usually located one to three inches above the trunk flare. Moreover, for the first year of your tree’s life, it will most likely need to be staked to promote proper growth. 

Potted Plants

Create a hole that is appropriate for the plant you have chosen. If the plant is in a pot, you can verify this by inserting the pot into the hole. The depth should not be deeper than the pot itself, and it should fit snugly with about 2 cm excess around the border. Small shrubs are offered in plastic containers, which they frequently outgrow. It’s possible that the shrub you’ve selected has very little rootball. If so, carefully loosen the soil and pluck out the root mass; don’t fret that you’re hurting the plant; new roots will eventually form.

Planting Plug Plants

Plug plants are a great way to get your garden started. The tiny seeding plants are usually available to buy in early spring. They often come in two sizes. Before being planted, both sizes will need to be potted into larger pots so they may grow to the next stage. The secret to effectively growing from plug plants is to moisten the plugs before planting. Handle plants gently while removing them from the delivery containers by the top two leaves. Create a well in the center and fill a small pot with compost before inserting your plug. Next, lightly pat the surrounding soil. Certain kinds may need to be replanted in a larger size and ‘hardened off’ outside before being planted outside.


Planting a new plant is an act of nurturing and fostering life. By following this guide, you can ensure that your plant receives a strong foundation for healthy growth and development. Remember to select the right plant for your garden, prepare the soil adequately, dig proper planting holes, backfill carefully, and provide appropriate water and care. With love and attention, your newly planted plant will thrive and bring beauty to your outdoor space for years to come. Happy planting!

Suggested Reading

Landscape Ontario: Plant Care

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