Plant a Tree Successfully

It may sound very obvious, but not everyone has green fingers and may need some help getting the basics right. Who knows where you’ll go to from here!

  • Dig a square opening 1/2 m x 1/2 m wide.
  • Separate the top soil (darker soil) from the bottom lighter soil and put the topsoil into the bottom of the hole.
  • Remove the tree from its container or plastic bag and place the tree into the hole, the base being below ground level.
  • Plant a pipe at an angle or a 2L plastic cooldrink bottle with holes cut inthe bottom, next to the roots of the tree, with the top of the pipe or plastic bottle sticking out of the ground.
  • Mix a small amount of compost into the lighter soil, and pack it into the hole.
  • Measure one spade length space around the tree and remove all the grass and weeds from this space.
  • Water the tree.
  • Add a 10 cm layer of mulch (leaves, straw, or strips of newspaper), around the tree but not touching the tree.

Water the tree weekly through the pipe or water funnel – this sends the water directly to the roots and prevents wastage. Put the lid onto the bottle to prevent evaporation. After the first year, water only when the soil is dry.

Not sure if that tree is indigenous or not? Check out www.plantzafrica.com for a comprehensive list and pictures!

If Howick is close to home for you, pop in at one of the many small nurseries in town on your way home from your holiday and pick up an indigenous plant.