More often then not plant position is critical, especially on the residential property.
- space limitations alone demand positioning plants accurately.
- positioning plants is particularly important near buildings, pools, patios, walkways and other structures.
- positioning is #1 when screening for privacy or to block a view.
- spacing and alignment for hedging and other “deliberate patterns” must be spot-on to look right.
How To Preserve and Insure Plant Position
A standard plant installation job with small to medium sized plants is typically set-up so that the new plants are arranged and sitting right where they’re going. In this situation it’s normal to just mark the spot for the hole by outlining the container or root-ball with the shovel.
However, sometimes as we mentioned in our bullet-points above, it’s necessary to get that plant in the ground exactly where it is intended.
Very often we’ll refer to the “center” of the plant when talking about spacing and positioning. The reference and use of “center” eliminates any confusion for an installer regardless of the width or shape of a plant.
In the picture above the new plants are arranged as a border screen. Each plant’s position has been adjusted. It’s important to insure this exact position through the planting phase.
To do this I use granular limestone to mark the centers of each plant with “cross-hairs”. (You could also use marking paint.) I extend the lines a good distance so that portions of the lines remain visible while the holes are being dug.
No matter how crazy the hole-digging gets due to roots, rocks and other underground surprises, the center of the hole can always be referenced with the “cross-hairs”.
Finally, when it comes time to set the plant in the hole, once again the “cross-hairs” give us the center of the plant’s intended location.
I’ve used this simple method of marking plant locations in other circumstances where it was just too impractical to set the new plant(s) up first. Or, the new plant was on its way to the jobsite and we wanted to get the hole dug before it arrived.
How do you handle plant positioning for installation? Let us know in the comments.