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20 Aug 2018 - 6 things NOT to do in Summer planting


6 things NOT to do in Summer planting

Q: What a hot summer we have... everything I plant in the ground seem to be unhappy and doesn't seem to grow. I water a lot but it seems not enough? leaves stay droopy or get burned. Are there any secrets for summer planting?

A: End of Summer is still a good time for planting in the South, because there are a few more warm months until winter and your plants need enough time to establish before cold season. However because of high temperatures, a few things should be avoid to reduce stress on the plant:

1. Do not plant mail-ordered plant directly from a box into the ground. Keep it in a pot for a week or two and gradually move the pot from shade into permanent location in full sun.

2. Do not expose to full time direct sun even if potted plant was adjusted to sun. Cover newly planted tree with a shade cloth or simply a bed sheet for a few days. Use bamboo stakes to support the cloth. Even tough, sun-loving plants may get a leaf burn if not established.

3. Do not put mulch too close to the stem/trunk. Keep it 1-1.5 inches away from the plant for air circulation.

4. Do not keep wet. Combination of extreme heat and wet is not good for roots (as well as cold and wet). If you notice that soil dries too quickly - water more frequently but lightly, without creating soggy hot swamp.

5. Do not overfertilize. A handful of slow-release fertilizer is good at time of planting, however do not try to push your plant to grow and do not apply more chemicals or manure until you see a new growth.

6. Do not get discouraged and give the plant some time to establish. In most cases, a new growth starts with roots which you can't see. Sometimes it takes a few months until you see the upper part of the tree suddenly starts growing rapidly.