Know your site!  Is it sunny or shady?  If it is sunny, is it sunny all day (southern exposure) or is it only half day sun?  If so, is it morning or afternoon sun?  A plant that needs full sun, requires a good eight to ten hours of direct sun a day to flourish.  Sure, that beautiful Butterfly Bush would look great on the north side of your house, but it will not survive for long.
Choose your plants wisely, but most of  all "know your site."
So you really have done your research.  You know the site.  You know the soil.
Now its time to choose your plant material.  Choose it wisely.  Know what you would like out of it.
Would you like some color?  Do you want the plants to block a view?
  Is the space limited?
Make your selection carefully.  Do you have deer?  If so, make sure the plants you choose will resist browsing by deer fairly well.
Jack's expert staff can help you every step of the way, 
start to finish and we will help you create a landscape that not only thrives in all the elements that mother nature can create but will give you pleasure in all seasons, for years to come!

Next to exposure, soil is the most important element in your plants survival!   What kind of soil do you have?  Is it clay?  Shale?  Sandy?  If it is clay soil, your soil will need some serious amending before that delicate Peony will take hold and bloom.  
Does the area drain properly?  If it is too wet, there is a limited number of plants that will survive in wet soil.
Is the area exposed to the elements?  If the area is windy, you would want to stay away from a broadleaf evergreen, and use a needled evergreen, or a deciduous shrub. 
Have you planted Azalea after Azalea with no luck?  Check the ph.  Azaleas need acid based soil.  If the soil is too alkaline, it will do poorly.
Do a soil test.  To take a soil sample, dig a six inch hole in your garden.  Then, scrape out a half inch thick slice all the way down the side of the hole.  Spread the soil out in a place where it can dry in the sun.  Put the soil in a plastic bag and take it to your local county extension service for testing.  

pH chart

0123456789    10 11         12
Acidic ------------------------Neutral ------------------------Alkaline

Why is pH so important?
Most plants will do well if the pH is in the neutral range ( between 6 & 7 ) Extremely alkaline or acidic soils tie up essential nutrients, which keeps them from being absorbed by the plants.
Some plants like acidic soil, like Azaleas, Rhododendrons, & most evergreens.  
While some plants, like Lilacs, like a more alkaline soil.
Adding lime to acidic soil at the rate of 10 pounds per 100 sq. ft. should raise the pH one point.
Adding Gypsum to alkaline soil at the rate of 5 pounds per 100 sq. ft. should lower the pH one point.  Adjust your soils pH, if necessary, at a slow rate.
When in doubt, test the soil!

Jack's Garden Tips
Jack's Garden Center & Nursery
10 Woosamonsa Rd. Pennington, NJ  08534
(609) 737-0224 - fax (609) 737-7771 Email:
Jack's Garden Tips

Planting, Watering, & New Plant Care
Step 1 - Preparing Hole and Soil

Dig hole just a little bit wider and a little deeper than the ball. Place soil on plastic or tarp as hole is dug for easier backfilling. Add fresh topsoil or a planting mix at a ratio of 20% new soil and 80% existing soil.

Mix the existing soil with the new in a wheelbarrow before backfilling hole. 

Step 2 - Placing plant in hole

Place some of the prepared backfill in the bottom of the hole so that when root ball is placed in the hole, the top of the ball will be be even or about 1 inch above final grade. This procedure allows for settling of freshly dug soil. Check the level to see that the depth is proper by putting the plant in the hole or measuring the depth of the root ball. Firm the soil and place plant in the hole. burlap can remain around the ball, as well as a planting cage if it happens to have one.

The roots will grow threw the cage fine and the burlap will decompose.

All rope should be removed from around the trunk only. If the plant is in a plastic container, remove the plant from the container and slice the root ball vertically 1 inch deep with a knife in 3 to 4 places.

Step 3 - Backfilling

Fill the hole halfway with soil. Press the soil in with hands to eliminate air pockets. Tamp firmly. Add remaining soil to the top of the surrounding surface.

Step 4 - Watering

Plants should be watered gently but deeply immediately after planting. 

Do not just water the root ball but the surrounding soil as well. This will encourage root growth faster.New plants should be watered once a week for the first month and checked on for the remainder of the growing season. 

As long as you check the rootball before watering and ensure that the plant truly needs water, this will eliminate problems with over watering.

A good thorough soaking at these intervals is far more effective than light and frequent waterings from sprinklers. Place a hose a few inches from the trunk. Water should flow at a very slow trickle as this will allow water to sink into the roots without running off. Water for one hour depending on the size of the plant. Do not use a forceful stream of water as this can cause soil structure to break down and become hard-baked when dry.

Remember: Most new plants die from too much water then not enough.

Jack’s does not recommend sprinkler systems for new or existing plants.

Plants all have different watering needs and cannot be watered properly with general irrigation.

Step 5 - Fertilization  

Jack’s recommends Espoma all natural fertilizer.

Espoma is all organic and will encourage root growth which is vital for the health of your new planting.

For newly planted trees and larger evergreens Jack’s recommends fertilizer spikes which can be purchased at our garden center.

Step 6 -Mulching

Mulching your new planting will help conserve moisture as well as keep down weed growth.

You must be very careful not to mulch directly up against the trunk of your new plantings and when you mulch, mulch at a depth of 1 to 2”.

This will help water pass thew better and will help with mulch decomposition.

Please call or email Jack's with any of your 

new or existing plant care needs.

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                                                                  Jack's Greenhouse & Farm - 10 Woosamonsa Road - Pennington, NJ 08534  
                                                                     (609) 737-0224 - Fax (609) 737-7771 - email : 
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