Tips And Techniques

Spring Planting Checklist

Flower landscape along shorline Lake Charlevoix

Spring is in full bloom, and as we look ahead to Memorial Day weekend–the traditional start of the gardening season here in Northern Michigan–we can’t help but get excited about planting something new. To take the stress out of your next planting project, we’ve compiled a checklist with top planting tips from our team. Save the graphic below for quick reference, and read on for full descriptions of each step!

Planting Checklist for healthy outdoor landscaping

Prepare your soil

Many times when we go to dig in, we find hard or compacted soil without a lot of organic material in it. Pre-planting is a great time to amend your soil–which is a fancy way of saying breaking up the hard ground and adding in some compost or peat moss to make it easier for your new flowers to put out roots and find good nutrients.

Dig in

When you dig holes for your plants, be sure to dig a hole a bit larger in circumference and a few inches deeper than the pot your plant comes in. This creates more space for the roots to grow and expand into their new surroundings. Once you have your plant in place, fill the hole the rest of the way with soil or organic material.


This is a great time to apply a slow-release fertilizer to give your new plants an added nutritional boost. Be sure to carefully follow the directions on the fertilizer you purchase to make sure you apply it correctly and at the appropriate times, or contact our Fertilization Team to set up a fertilization plan that’s right for you!


After planting, your new garden additions will need a lot of water. Our team recommends watering at least two times a day for the first two weeks. Ample water helps your new plants recover from the shock of transplanting and settle well into their surroundings, but if it doesn’t fit your busy schedule, it might be time to consider a smart irrigation system to help you water more efficiently.


After your plants are in the ground, fed, and watered, don’t forget about mulch! Mulch helps retain moisture around your plants, suppresses weed growth, and, over time, adds nutritional value to your soil. Our team recommends a 2 inch layer of mulch around annuals and perennials, but only a very thin layer around trees and shrubs, as too much mulch around the base of a tree can actually damage its growth.

Flowers and Pond landscape services

Planting is one of our favorite spring activities, whether we’re adding annuals for season-long color, perennials for pollinator power, shrubs for structure, or even a tree or two to bring an exciting level of “wow” to our garden. With new blooms, every space feels fresh and exciting, and there’s no end to the variety of things you can plant! Whether you’re taking on a new garden project or just sprucing things up, we hope that this quick checklist has you feeling prepared for the task. From all of us at Team Drost, happy planting!