Giant Green Thujas
hi. i'm not sure if this is the proper forum to post this in, so if it is the wrong one, i'ld be happy to move it...just point me in the right direction.
i have purchased 60 giant green thujas from SC. they will be planted in sarnia, ontario, which is right across from port huron, michigan. from literature, this is zone 6, so i should be ok here.
i got the plants a few days ago. they are all about 12" in height and appear to have well develped roots they were in tiny small plastic containers approx 2.5"x2.5x2.5.
these are to be placed along our back yard (187') exposure to a 2 lane "highway".
currently there is a berm built up along part of the back. it is about 3' higher than the rest of the yard and it runs for about 100' of the back yard. i don't know why it was not continued when the house was built, but i either want to level the berm or build up the other 80' to match.
along this berm there are currently several long needle pine trees in various stages of overgrowth.
my plan is to remove them and plant the thujas to make a solid, uniform (and hopefully attractive) privacy screen.
i cant afford to get earth moving equipment yet, so i bought the smaller plants with the plan to pot them and then in a year or 2 when they are larger and more established, plant them in their permanent home.
i purchased 3 gallon grower's bags. i got some topsoil delivered and started to "pot" the trees. i filled the bags a little more than 2/3rds of the way, compacted it with my fist, dug a hole about 1.5 times the width of the root ball, soaked the rootball well (these were grown in some sort of bark medium)i did my best to just barely cover the existing rootball. i then compacted the soil around the roots and watered. the soil seemed of reasonable quality, but when i watered, the water pools up quite a bit and takes some time to soak in. the topsoil ended up rather "mucky"
so my 1st question is: did i choose the wrong growing media? i read that these trees like well drained soils. i have too much time and effort tied up in this to mess it up. i have just over 1/2 of the trees potted and am willing to "repot" the others if i should have mixed in some sand or used some other potting mix.
while i have your attention (thanks for reading and giving me pointers, btw!!) when late fall comes, should i move these into an unheated shed or garage?
also is there any type of fertilizer i should add at any point before i permanantly plant them? i understand they require deep watering for the 1st year or so when the soil begins to dry.
any other advice to help me succeed is appreciated!