Later this month we will be starting to despatch orders for bare root plants and trees. These are dormant at this time and have their roots exposed, rather than being in pots. Being dormant they may look a little sad on arrival but don’t worry, once spring arrives they will romp away.
Bare rooted plants should ideally be planted direct in the garden very soon after receipt. So, before delivery it is worth preparing the planting site by removing all perennial weeds. Forking some bone meal or similar into the soil a few weeks before planting will help to get the plant off to a good start.
If planting cannot be done immediately then bare rooted plants will be fine left in an unheated but frost free garage or shed for 3 to 4 days. It is important not to let the roots dry out so wrap some damp hessian or similar around the roots.
If the ground is frozen or very wet then simply cover the roots with damp compost and again keep them in a frost free place for a few days until the conditions have improved for planting.
If you are in for a prolonged cold spell or the ground is water-logged then we suggest that you plant in pots and then plant out in the garden during late spring.
Assuming all is well and you can plant direct in the garden then first stand the plants in a bucket of water for about 2 hours, this will rehydrate the roots.
Dig a hole deep enough for the old soil mark on the stem to be either level with or just below the surface. The hole needs to be wide enough for the roots to be evenly spread out. Fill the hole with soil, gently firming it down with your fists and then using your foot, but don’t press too hard. Always tread from the outside of the hole in towards the stem.
Label the plant and now give it a good drink. Now you need just sit back and wait for spring.