For as long as people have planted things into the Earth, there have been different views and opinions on the best ways and the best times to plant. One such example is the long-held belief that planting in the summer is a bad idea. The rule of thumb has always been to plant in spring and fall when the weather is cooler. While spring and fall are great times of the year to plant, many would be surprised to learn that you can successfully plant new perennials, trees, and shrubs in the heat of summer. Any shock to a plant from planting a container shrub is essentially eliminated since you didn’t actually dig up the plant or hopefully didn’t even disturb the roots when carefully removing it from the pot. Summer conditions may still cause new plantings some stress, but with a little bit of extra care on your part, it will help the plant develop a healthy root system and virtually guarantee successfully surviving its first winter due to extra root growth.
Planting in the summer only requires a slight bit more work on your part but will reward you with a hardy plant with a good root system.
How to Plant Trees & Shrubs in the Summer
1. Dig the hole as you would any time of year, and always remember wider but not deeper. A general rule of thumb is one and a half times the size of the root ball.
2. Amend the soil you remove from the hole with a good compost or topsoil. A mix of half existing soil and half good compost is perfect. This will help the soil surrounding the new plant to retain more moisture which means fewer trips with the hose.
3. Create a ring just outside the back-filled hole using the extra soil. Two or three inches are all that’s needed. This will help the water you put on the plant to stay in the planting area and not runoff.
4. Mulch, Mulch, Mulch! Mulch will help keep the moisture that you add to stay in the ground longer since the air and the sun will not be working against you by drying the ground out.
5. Water, Water, Water! Plants need water and the Summer temps make it nearly impossible to overwater. Plants have a way of letting you know when it’s time for a good soaking when they begin to have droopy, wilted leaves or begin to look a little yellow or sunbaked.
The bottom line is, don’t be afraid to plant in the Summer. Get out there and plant in the summer, and remember you can always call or stop into Simpson’s with any questions!