THE PSN POTTING PROCESS
April 18, 2019
A look behind the scenes at Purple Springs Nursery… we are potting our bareroot these days. We have a semi-mechanized process that gets our trees potted in no time. Whether you are potting a tree for your front porch or bigger scale at a nursery, the concept is the same.
FILL POT WITH SOIL
This creates depth for the roots to grow into. Our soil is composed of a compost mixture that is high in organic matter and includes several slow release fertilizers that form the basis of early root development.
CENTER TREE & INSURE PROPER PLANT DEPTH
Once the roots are placed on top of the first layer of soil, fill again. Be sure to center the tree and get the root height just right. The most common mistake is to plant the tree too low. This can lead to several problems down the road, including root rot due to lack of air, slow establishment and disease. Check out Dr. Ed Gilman’s post on some of the other negatives of planting too deep.
Figure 1. Potting Illustration
If roots are planted too high, they risk dehydration. Newly developed white roots can also tear off in the slightest wind – a huge problem since these fine, white roots are what absorb the most nutrients in a tree. Proper planting depth is 1-2” below the budgraft, with the soil line 2” above the highest root.
Figure 2. Planting Depth Diagram
Settling the soil filters the top layer of soil in between the roots and gets rid of any air pockets hiding beneath the surface. This helps the tree stay firmly rooted when faced with external challenges (i.e. wind).
EXCESS SOIL IS REMOVED FROM THE TOP
The last step is to clear any excess soil from the top of the pot. This leaves room for water to drain into the soil.
If you are diligent about the above steps, you will be much more likely to end up with a tree that establishes well and will serve you for many years to come…And that’s it! Happy potting!
Check out our video on potting here: