Growth Rate: 3 Secrets for Doubling Plant Growth
1. Protect the Bark
One of the top elements that affect growth rate? The condition of a plant’s bark. Plant bark is like your skin. When it’s damaged, pathogens seep in and cause infection. When this happens, your trees and shrubs devote all their energy to healing instead of growing.
What kind of damage are we talking about? Some of the most common injuries occur from lawn mowers, edgers and weed trimmers, causing small cuts and gouges in the bark.
Wildlife can also pose a threat. When the sun goes down, burrowing little critters are busy trying to get ready for the winter. One of the ways they do that is by nibbling at the new bark on your tree. The little pieces of bark are great for their nests and bedding areas.
If you have field mice near your property, an inexpensive solution is Wrap Around Tree Guards. They also protect against mowers and trimmers.
2. Eliminate Competition
Weeds and grass are ruthless when it comes to robbing trees and shrubs of moisture. They send out long roots that can draw water and nutrients out of the center of your new plant’s root ball.
When you dig your hole, wider is better. You’ll remove the surrounding grass, and you’ll loosen up the soil for faster root growth. We recommend digging out at least 2 to 3 feet away from the trunk of the plant.
Mulch will keep weeds and lawn equipment away from your plants. Organic mulch will also insulate roots in the winter, adding nutrients as it breaks down and help balance PH levels.
A tree in the woods provides its own mulch with several inches of leaves on the ground. We can imitate this by mulching the planting area with 3 to 4 inches of wood chips, chunk bark, straw, pine needles or shredded leaves.
3. Hair Roots
Studies show that 80% of the problems associated with trees are directly related to their root systems. Trees and shrubs pull nutrients and water into the plant through fine hair roots, which pump a nonstop supply and help the plant burst with new growth.
If you have poor or hard dirt, mix in soil amendments like shredded bark, leaves, aged manure, compost, coffee grounds or blood meal. It gives added nutrients while softening the soil.
Choose a fertilizer with a root stimulator hormone. This is a secret used by wholesale plant nurseries in order to quickly produce larger plants. The hormone stimulates hair root growth, which can fuel a year’s worth of growth in a matter of weeks. Root stimulators cost no more than other fertilizers. We like Rootblast, but there are several others on the market.
Also, use tree root stimulant when you first plant and then occasionally during the peak growing season. Root stimulants are especially recommended when trees are transplanted from one place to the other. They help trees to recover faster from the stress caused by moving.
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