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If the soil around the plant roots is dry, irrigate to keep the roots moist, but not
If watered properly and protected from extreme conditions, such as excessive heat,
sun, strong winds, or frost or freezing conditions, plants should be fine in their original
pots or plug trays for up to several weeks.
On site, it may be helpful to stage plants near the areas where they will be installed,
to save time. During the planting process, protect bare-root trees, shrubs, and aquatic
plants from heat, sun, and wind, to prevent the roots from drying out.
Upland plant installation:
Install upland plants as you would any landscape materials.
Because many native plants have an extensive taproot, take care during installation not
to damage the roots.
For large-scale plantings, a gas-powered auger greatly speeds up the planting process.
Select an auger bit slightly wider than the diameter of the container being planted, and
pre-drill the planting holes at the recommended spacing. A field crew can then follow
behind and install plants.
Wetland plant installation:
In many wetland situations, the plant installation process is
the same as for an upland area, but the process may be slower due to softer soils and the
slower speed of planting. When planting in submerged areas, the most difficult aspect of
installation is getting the plants to stay in place. If possible, use a pump or water control
structure to lower the water level during installation and let the water level rise slowly.
If planting below the water line or in areas submerged due to water fluctuations, planting
holes often immediately refill with water, causing soil and plants to float to the surface after
planting. In these instances, after installing the plant under the soil surface, use stones,
small wood stakes, steel turf staples, or similar mechanical means to anchor the plant in
place. Take care not to crush or puncture the plant or root with any anchoring techniques. If
the plants have leafy stems or foliage, ensure foliage will stand above the water level after
Creating a Native Landscape
Specific wetland conditions
If wetland is temporarily dry:
Scarify soil surface through shallow tilling
or raking. If tilling adjacent to a wet area,
assess the potential for erosion and runoff
when disturbing the soil.
In lower elevations, where water levels are
deeper, sow seed that is packaged wet. Sow
dry-packaged seed on the higher elevations;
this seed can overlap into wet-seed areas.
Press seed firmly into soil using a roller,
cultipacker, or similar equipment. Light
raking is an acceptable alternative, but
be careful not to cover seed more than
Install erosion fabric over areas where
water is likely to flow and displace seed.
Slowly restore water level or wait for rainfall
to bring water level up after seeding. If
feasible, use outlet controls to maintain
water level depths between 1/2 inch and
6 inches until seed germinates and wetland
vegetation is well established.
If wetland is permanently wet:
Mix seed with damp clay pellets in a
container, such as a 5-gallon bucket. Clay
pellets should be small (approximately
1/2 inch in diameter) and placed in
optimal areas for germination.
Sow dry-packaged seed in areas at and
above the waterline. If soil moisture
conditions permit, press seed firmly into
soil using a roller, cultipacker, or similar
equipment. Do not cover seed more than
Permanently wet areas can also be
seeded by broadcasting when the ground