From the Prairie Potter Extension Master Gardeners of Pierre and sent to us by Elke Baxter, MG from Philip)


  • Dig hole three times wider than container.

  • Dig hole half as deep as container the tree is in..

  • To remove tree, tap container on ground and gently slide the tree out.

  • If roots circle the root ball, shave down the sides with a sharp spade/shovel to remove all circling roots.

  • Scrape away the top of the containe root ball to find the tree's first pencil sized root. This may mean removing up to half of soil from top of root ball.


  • Place the tree in the hole with its first pencil-sized root at TOP of hole - the surface of the ground.


  • Return the SAME soil back into hole. Tamp soil lightly with the back of the shovel.

  • Soil can be mounded slightly from edges of hole to trunk of tree, grading from at the natural surface of the soil at the trunk to an inch or so higher at the edge of the planting hole.


  • Mulch with wood chips ON TOP of the soil from the trunk to just outside the planting hole.


  • If you are planning to stake the tree, use only two stakes perpendicular to prevailing wind. A wide (2”) strip of canvas or other heavy fabric works well. Tie one end to the stake. Loop fabric around the trunk before securing to the other stake. (For those directionally challenged, this means that if the prevailing wind is from the north, place one stake north of the tree and the other south.

  • Water: One gallon per inch of diameter of tree trunk daily for two weeks, at base of tree.


  • Don’t carry tree around by trunk or drop it out of a pickup.

  • Don’t pack soil back into planting hole. The roots need oxygen.

  • Don’t use fresh grass clippings as mulch around newly planted trees.

  • Don’t stake tree too tight, too high (no more than 2/3 of height), too long (no more than one year), or with rubber hose and wire.



Drowning In Tomatoes? Try Something Different This Year.


If you’re a home gardener about to drowned in tomatoes rolling in off the vines and demanding to be consumed before they go bad, hang on. Here comes a life preserver.

I chop up a small bowlful of fresh very ripe tomatoes, add chopped red onion or scallions, minced garlic, chopped fresh basil, and extra-virgin olive oil.  I sometimes add Kalamata olives. I make this dish in the morning and let it set on the kitchen table all day. By evening meal time, the flavors have melded nicely, and I serve it over hot cooked spaghetti noodles and top it with fresh grated parmesan for an easy meal on a hot summer day.

other such survival gardening from Off the Grid News