Planting plugs

In many cases, direct planting of established plants is a more effective approach than seeding. This can be the case if you are restoring a very small area, using plants that are known to have poor germination success, or using plants that have extremely slow establishment rates. Before planting, develop a strategic design for installation. For example, for woody plants, lower planting density (at least 1m between plants) often results in higher survival than high planting density [1]. Be aware of the space that will be needed for each plant at full size. Grasses and forbs will often be planted in small plugs while larger shrubs and trees will need to be planted in containers. Containers are logistically more difficult to move and plan, so be considerate of container size when making purchases. Bigger plants (and therefore, bigger containers) are more expensive and harder to move and install, but they are often much more likely to survive. For example, studies from mine reclamation show that survival of restoration species is higher in larger pots (416-601 in3 in volume) versus smaller pots (231 in3 in volume) [2].