Fruit Tree Planting - Leveling Up

This page is an expanded and updated version of our planting instructions which we teach in our classes. Below you will find the three different care levels to plant your fruit trees. 

We want you to succeed so we provide many ways to help and this is just one of them. We include much more information in our Planting, Watering and Fertilizing class.

Bare Root and Potted trees or Plants

Level of Care


This is the bare bones level of what we recommend

Growing trees in the low desert soil has many challenges, most important of which is starting them in life-capable soil, and protecting their roots from the heat of the desert. Adding new soil to existing soil will help the trees get established in the new hole and the roots will grow into the existing native soil easier.

What to use:

Use 1.5 to 2 bags of Farmer Greg’s Planting Mix for each hole.
GOAL: 60% Greg’s Mix, 40% native soil.

Bare Root and Potted Application:

Mix 40 % of the soil from the 2′ wide hole with Greg’s Planting Mix in a wheelbarrow.  Moisten well (about as wet as a wrung out sponge) while mixing and turning with a shovel, and let rest in wheelbarrow to ensure any hydrophobic soil is rehydrated while preparing potted tree or plant for transplant. 

After planting, create and fill the 6-foot-wide basin with at least 4 bags of woody mulch to start a 6-inch-deep layer of healthy protection.


Any surplus soil mix left after planting can be added to the remaining native soil and used to help make the basin berm.

Level of Care


This is the level we require to meet our guarantee.

New trees and other potted plants will need planting amendments and fertilizer mixed into the planting medium for the hole to obtain best results. This extra dose of nutrients will be ready for the roots as they grow out into the soil.

What to use:

That means for EACH tree hole:
2 pounds of: Azomite, Worm Castings, and organic fertilizer,

and 2 ounces Myco. 

We offer these starter amendments in our General Store in Single Tree and three tree Multi-Tree Bundle options, and the fertilizer in two options of either 50lbs BioFlora  or 10lbs Tank’s SuperMix both excellent, locally made organic fertilizer. (Local pick up options only)

 Bare Root and Potted Application:

While mixing and moistening the soil mixture, add the starter amendments including the myco, as well as the organic fertilizer. 


If the tree or plant came with a transport stake and still feels bendy and unable to support itself, then remove that stake and install two sturdier stakes outside the hole and loosely attach ropes using a non-restrictive binding or tree sling

Only use organic when adding fertilizer during the planting stage.

Levels of Care

Ultra Success

This is the level that will maximize the transplant success of your tree and boost your next harvest.

For ultimate success, inoculate the soil around the inside of the hole with nutrients to stimulate a healthy ring of bioactive growth. This process feeds the microbes in the soil so they can release vitamins and minerals from the nutrient solution. These nutrients are going to be the first food source the roots seek out and encounter as they grow out into the soil and beyond the hole.

Bare root trees will immensely benefit from a good root soaking in nutrients. However, instead of soaking a potted plant and exposing the roots, the nutrients are applied to the sides of the new hole. All of this boosts vitality and reduces transplant shock. 

What to use:

CITRUS or Potted Plant: Mix 3 capfuls each Heart, Noble Gills, Soul, and Essence with 1 gallon water. 

1 to 4 Bare Root Trees: Mix 3 capfuls of Soul, and Essence with 4-5 gallons of water in a container large enough to submerge the tree roots.

We highly recommend HyKreations liquid amendments as locally made organic solutions which we offer in a special 4 quart Combo bundle including 1 quart of Heart free. Both local pick up and shipping available.

HyKreations 3 caps = 1/2 oz


CITRUS & Potted Plants: After digging the hole and before mixing the soil and amendments in the wheelbarrow, use a sprayer or small cup to spray or splash the sides of the hole until they are damp all the way around. Allow this to sit and soak in while the soil mixture is made. 

Optional: Splash sides again just before the tree is inserted.

BARE ROOT: Prepare a root soak in a tub, tray, or wheelbarrow with 4 to 5 gallons of water and 3 capfuls each Essence and Soul. Soak the roots in this bath for 15-30 minutes before planting. This is an excellent time to finish prepping the hole and mix up the soil and amendments. 

After planting, pour any leftover solution on the tree basin(s) before laying mulch layer, and then water deeply. 

We also have our expanded Fruit Tree Nutrition Schedule online.
For the orginal laminated version of both our Garden and Fruit Tree Nutrition Schedules click HERE

A little note about our education program.

We have have been creating fruit tree and gardening educational content for several decades. A few years ago, we started gathering all the fruit tree content in our Fruit Tree Member Resources area in an online portal. This member area includes a full contingent of educational videos and most of our PDF resources that can be downloaded. We encourage you to check it out by clicking HERE

Note: Portal access is separate from our online General Store so you may need to create a new password. Access to the Fruit Tree member resources is free and granted automatically for anyone who has purchased trees or supplies through our Online General Store. This is the same portal that houses all of the Urban Farm U courses like Jump Start Your Urban Farm and Growing Food The Basics.