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What you need:
  • Ball and burlap shrub
  • Shovel
  • Hose
  • Mulch
  • 3' length of wood doweling
Dig a hole at least twice the width of the root ball and the same depth.
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Scarify the sides of the hole with a garden fork. This will allow the roots to penetrate the surrounding soil.
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Place the shrub in the hole and use a dowel to check for the proper depth. The top of the ball should be at ground level.
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If the burlap is synthetic, remove it entirely from the root ball. If the burlap is made of natural fibers, roll it down around the base of the root ball.
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Backfill soil around the root ball and lightly tamp it down. As you water the shrub, the draining water will further settle the soil.
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Create a water catching moat around the shrub and fill it with water. Let the water drain, and repeat.
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Finally, mulch around the shrub. Keep the mulch a few inches away from the trunk of the plant. Apply a 2-3" layer of mulch, extending it at least as far as the shrub's drip line.