How to set out your plants

Tip from the test garden
Jim McCausland

Annuals and perennials in 4-inch nursery pots are inexpensive alternatives to bigger plants in gallon cans. And the smaller plants will catch up soon.

Before planting, amend the soil with organic matter and dunk the plant, still in its pot, into a bucket of water to soak the soil.

1. Dig a hole for each plant, making the hole about the same depth as the container and an inch or two wider.

2. Knock each plant out of its pot. Gently separate any matted roots. If roots are coiled at the bottom of the rootball, cut them off so new roots can grow.

3. Place each plant in its hole so that the rootball's top is even with the soil surface. Fill in with soil around the rootball, water with a gentle stream, then press the soil lightly to firm it.

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