Newswise — April 4, 2016 – Do you think those plants you bought at the garden center come ready to place into a newly dug hole? The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) April 1 Soils Matter blog post explains that taking just a few steps before planting can increase the success of your new investments.

Soil scientist Clay Robinson suggests a four-point inspection at the garden center before purchase: roots, stems, branches and leaves. Then, water the plants thoroughly once you get them home.

“Before you plant your new purchase, you’ll want to consider some pruning,” says Robinson. “Some roots are damaged during transplanting, so the top growth needs to be pruned to reduce transplant shock. This is more true with annuals than perennials. I always target buds, flowers, and fruit for pruning.”

The roots need some attention, too. “Gently spread the roots, place the pruned plant in the hole to the depth of the bottom leaves, push the soil into the hole around it, and gently firm the soil against the stem and roots,” Robinson says. Spreading the roots away from their compacted, potted state allows them to grow more freely in their new home.

For more tips on planting your garden purchases, read the entire blog post:

American Society of Agronomy (ASA) and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) have developed two videos about proper planted. One is shorter, and can be found at It quickly describes inspecting and transplanting your plants.. Another video goes into more depth about many variations your plant, and you how can help it succeed. It can be found at All serious gardeners and landscapers should watch these videos, and protect those garden center investments!

Follow SSSA on Facebook at, Twitter at SSSA_Soils. SSSA has soils information on, for teachers at, and for students through 12th grade,

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, and founded in 1936, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members and 1,000+ certified professionals dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. The Society provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.