The juniper family illustrates the extraordinary diversity that can be packed into a single name. Junipers come big and bushy, low and creeping, ready to trim into hedge, tall, slender and formal. Colors range from bluish-green through dark and light greens and vibrant golds. What all these diverse cousins share is a tenacity in growth that can hold entire hillsides in place, whatever the weather. Help junipers off to a good start by planting them with landscape fabric. They will perform at their tenacious best.
Prepare soil for juniper planting. Rake area smooth with flat rake, removing any stones or debris. (If you are planting more than one plant, for example, as ground cover for a slope, measure and mark out the intervals at which you will dig holes for your plants.
Dig a hole twice the depth and circumference of each plant's root-ball. Remove any rocks or debris from holes. Mix half the soil going back into each hole with an equal quantity of peat moss to facilitate root establishment and provide the mildly acid soil most junipers favor. Pile remaining soil in a ring around each hole.
Spread lengths of water-permeable black landscape cloth over the area being planted with junipers. Overlap fabric lengths by 4 inches and anchor with commercial anchors, lumber strips or scraps or rocks.
Locate the soil-ring surrounding each juniper plant hole under the fabric, and cut it twice from one side to the other with your scissors or knife, leaving a large X over the hole. Fold the flaps of the X back and tuck them under the fabric to plant.
Dampen soil mixture in the planting hole thoroughly with water. Mixture should be wet but not puddled. Remove root-ball coverings or pots from juniper bushes. Wet roots of each plant, but do not remove soil. Place each plant in a hole just deep enough to cover the joint of the stem and root ball. Cover with extra soil and tamp it down securely with your foot all the way around the plant.
Provide 1/2 inch of water twice a week until you notice new growth, a sign that plants have become established, up to six or eight weeks after planting. Then water as you do the rest of your yard.