The Garden Barn's "Recipe for Success"


When adding plants to your landscape beds it’s important to fertilize them. We recommend Osmocote and Espoma for first-year plantings. Osmocote is a granular, time-release fertilizer that provides a balanced nutrient base for plants over the course of four to six months so your plants don’t get over or underfed. Espoma is another versatile and organic fertilizer that also lasts up to six months.


New plants need a neutral growing medium with plenty of organic matter to help the plant adapt to the soil in your yard. We recommend planting with an organic soil ammendment called Bumper Crop. It has everything you need to condition the soil and provide your plants with a great kickstart. Mixing Bumper Crop about 50/50 with the existing soil in your yard will allow plants to slowly adapt and thrive under their new growing conditions (increase Bumper Crop ratio with lower soil quality).


Using a root stimulator (see store associate for details) helps plants to get established! While a proper combination of fertilizer, Bumper Crop, and a root stimulator can do much of the work for you, effective gardening practices are just as essential to the health of your plants. Follow this step-by-step process for putting plants in the ground:

  1. Dig a hole about twice the width of the root system and the same depth. The plant’s soil surface should be level with the ground (don’t plant too deep or too shallow).
  2. Set the plant into the hole and straighten. For plants with a burlap root ball, cut twine away and remove the burlap from around the base of the plant to expose the top of root ball (don’t remove all of the burlap or the metal cage if there is one, the burlap will decompose and the plant's roots will grow right through the metal cage). For plants in containers, gently loosen the outer ½ inch of roots before setting into the hole.
  3. Mix Bumper Crop with existing soil (about 50/50) and begin backfilling the hole. Spread fertilizer in the top three inches of soil before completely filling the hole.
  4. Once the hole is filled, water the plant well. Let the water settle for about 15 minutes then apply the root stimulator 
  5. Top dress your plant with two inches of mulch over the hole you’ve since filled. Don’t let the mulch come in direct contact with the base (trunk) of the plant to prevent rot and mold.

Once you complete these simple steps most of the work is over! What's left now is watering, applying a rooting stimulator (apply on a weekly basis for the first six weeks), and a seasonal application of fertilizer. Proper watering, however, can be a delicate balance to achieve. Plants will show similar signs of stress when either over or under-watered. Read our article, "Effective Watering", for more details and come to us with any questions. The progress of your plants is one of our top priorities!