When to Plant
The best times for planting are the periods between September – October just before the rains, during the rains, and from April – May (just after the rains). If you are going to plant before or after the rains, then water must be available and plants should have been reared in containers. Open rooted plants can only be planted during the rainy season. Cutting back excessive growth of both leaves and roots encourages growth. Planting in the cold season should be avoided unless watering is supervised.
Preparing to Plant
Planting holes should be 1m deep, and 1 meter square. Add as much manure, and/or compost as you can and where there is heavy soils add some river sand. Add termidan to the soil as this will deter termites. When refilling the hole you could also mix some phosphate fertiliser into the soil in the bottom half of the hole. This will encourage root development and will help make the tree more drought resistant. After filling the hole, soak with water and leave for several days. The soil will settle and can then be topped up with soil.
Water the prepared hole. Dig a hole bigger than the container and place plant in the hole. Make sure that the soil is firmed around the plant and then water again. It is important not to disturb the soil around the plant roots. Remove the container from the plant and do not try to dig the plant out of the pot.
Fertilising and Care
You can spread general fertiliser around the plant and work it well into the soil. Water well if you are going to use fertiliser. Keep the roots moist, giving a good soaking once or twice a week. Do not water too much in the cold season as this could rot the roots.
Put a good mulch of compost around the plants. Use leaves, grass etc and this helps to conserve moisture and add humus to the soil. Take care that termites do not attack. Use termidan when this happens.
Most plants do not require regular pruning, except to remove dead or diseased wood. If a shrub needs pruning, because it has got too big for its place, try to maintain its original shape. Generally, keep the centre as open as possible and cut out any branches that cross over to the inside. Cut back to the bud that is pointed away from the centre. Prune immediately after flowering.
Watering and Caring
Most of the trees sold by us are indigenous and strictly speaking would not require watering. But trees grow much faster if kept watered and fed. Ensure that the soil around the plant is not rock hard, by digging over carefully and placing mulch around the plant. Give a good watering, if you can, at least once a week in the dry season, and probably less in winter when growth has stopped. Trees planted in an irrigated lawn probably don’t need much more water.