How to Plant Nursery Stock


Whether planting nursery stock trees, flowers, vegetables, or other plants, the basic planting procedure is very similar. Most nursery stocks are pruned before shipping to avoid shipping damage, meaning planting your nursery stock is much easier than transplanting home seeded stocks that may need extensive pruning once in the ground. In most cases, you will want to plant your nursery stock after the risk of frost has passed. Make sure you select a location suitable for the nursery stock you are planting. Differences in location can include amount of sun and type or soil.

Step 1

Remove your nursery stock from the plastic containers they came in. Some nursery stock come in peat containers. You do not need to remove peat containers. Peat containers provide good organic soil nutrients as the young plant grows.

Step 2

Soak the roots of roses, trees or other woody nursery plants in water for several hours before planting. This is not necessary for most tender plants, like flowers and vegetables.

Step 3

Dig a hole with a shovel slightly larger than the root ball of your plant. Make sure you leave enough space for the roots to spread out as they grow.

Step 4

Trim any broken or damaged roots before planting. For woody roots, you may need hand pruners.

Step 5

Place the plant or tree in the hole and cover the roots with soil. For larger trees and plants, you may want to tamp the soil down as you backfill to encourage soil settling.

Step 6

Water the newly planted nursery stock thoroughly. Give your plant several inches of water, but do not allow water to collect on the soil surface.

Step 7

Mulch your plants an inch or two deep to discourage weeds and help the soil retain water.

Step 8

Keep watering your newly planted nursery stock with between 2 and 3 inches of water per week until they are established. The exact amount of water will vary, depending on the type of plants. Follow nursery instructions on post planting watering.

Things You'll Need

  • Nursery stock
  • Shovel
  • Hand pruners (optional)
  • Mulch


  • Audubon Workshop: Easy Steps to Planting Nursery Stock
Keywords: nursery planting, planting nursery seedlings, starting gardens

About this Author

Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, English and reads Spanish.