Bare Root Plants – What Does it mean?

Bare Root Plants – What do I do with them?

When the winter months arrive, many people think that gardening comes to a halt.  Winter seasons contain a secret about November to March, which is a phenomenon gardeners term as, ‘Bare Root Plant Time’.   This is the time when you are able get tremendous bargains on dormant fruit trees, ornamental shrubs and trees, berry canes, young trees, rhubarb, and loads of bareroot hedging plants.

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Bareroot – What does it Mean

The term ‘bare root’ means simply that the plant is dormant, or not actively growing.  Lifting the plants from fields, with as much of the soil taken off the roots as possible.   Bare root is easier to ship as they do not weigh as much as a potted plant, saving about 20-40% in costs!  This is a great way to plant a large area at good prices for healthy, but sleeping plant material.

Caring before Planting

The key to success of bare root plants is the transition from our nursery to your garden.  We advise everyone that you do not allow the plant roots to dry out or become exposed to freezing temperatures before planting.  Bare root plants must be planted immediately upon receipt of the plants.  If the area is not ready for the plants, or the ground is frozen, the plants must be ‘heeled in’ to a temporary spot either a good solid pot or another area of the garden until they do have a permanent home.  They should not be put in a greenhouse, or conservatory or in the house as they are outside plants.  We also suggest soaking the roots before transplanting.

Planting Bareroot

Planting bare root stock is very easy depending on the size of the plant.  Some will only require a spade depth.  The ground or planting hole, including the area surrounding the new plant should be clear of weeds, etc.  Put in some general garden compost to the planting hole to make the initial environment better for the plant.  Backfill the hole, and heel in well to get all the air out.  Water the plants well, as even though they are not actively growing, the roots still need to be moist and not dry.