Planting Care: in the first 3 months

How do I plant my trees/plants?

Instructions are included with every bareroot order, found HERE.

How soon do I have to plant my bareroot plants?

We strongly recommend planting your bareroot plants within 24h of receiving them to minimize the amount of time they are out of the ground. At most, they can sit for 2-3 days, following the instructions below.

How do I store my bareroot plants if I can’t plant them right away?

If you are unable to plant them right away, then it is best to store the plants in a cool, dark place such as an unheated garage, shed, or even a basement if needed. We keep our plants dormant in temperatures ranging from 0-5°C and the closer you can keep them to this temperature the better. 

You should also open the top of the bag and feel the sawdust around the roots. Add water as needed to ensure it stays nice and moist, but avoid water sitting in the bag.

If you are unable to plant them within a few days, we would recommend potting your plants until you are able to plant them. Our trees can be potted in 5 gallon pots while smaller plants like the berries are fine in 1 or 3 gallon pots depending on their size. You will want to leave the plants in the pots for at least six weeks before transplanting them to allow the freshly grown roots to harden off.

How long can my potted plants stay in the pot?

Potted plants can remain in the pot for up to one year, at which point we recommend either planting them out or moving them to a larger pot. 

With potted plants, keep in mind that they will need to be watered and fertilized more frequently and special care will need to be taken in the winter to ensure the soil doesn’t freeze since they are less insulated than they are in the ground.

How do I care for my new plants?

If you check out our planting instructions HERE, we cover some basic care for each of the main kinds of plants we carry. Due to the large variety of plants we grow, we are still updating more thorough instructions for them on the website, but we are happy to answer specific questions about plant care if you have them!

In general, especially for the trees, one of the most important things is to stay on top of watering in the first year.

Do I need to apply fertilizer/compost?

You generally don’t have to apply fertilizer/compost unless your soil is exceptionally nutrient poor, but if you want your tree to thrive and 'hit the ground running' so to speak, it's not a bad idea to give it some extra love. We offer the following organic options if you do need to fertilize:

  • Liquid Fish: With an NPK ratio of 2-3-0, liquid fish also helps with the development of beneficial mycorrhizal fungi in the soil which aids your plant’s ability to take up nutrients. *use raw, cold pressed fish hydrolysate. Found HERE.
  • Liquid Kelp: liquid kelp contains a variety of trace minerals that are important for the health of your plants along with various plant hormones that provide a myriad of benefits such as improved root development. Found HERE.
  • Bone Meal: With an NPK ratio of 4-10-0, bone meal is a great source of phosphorous which improves root development and calcium. Found HERE.
  • Effective Microbes: Nurture Growth is an Ontario based company specializing in brewing food waste into a living, biologically fermented fertilizer. Found HERE.

Excess nitrogen especially can burn the roots of plants, so be mindful not to apply too much, or letting high N products come in close contact with bareroot plants. If you want to add compost, we recommend mixing it into the top couple of inches of the soil after your plants are in the ground so it can leach down slowly.

How much Root Rescue should I use?

The 22.5g of Root Rescue is good for about 10 trees and the 45g is good for 20-25. We recommend taking about a tablespoon, adding it to a 5gal pail, adding a small amount of soil (preferably clay, so the spores stick to the roots better), and then filling it with water to create a slurry. Then dip the trees in the mix before planting them to innoculate the roots. 

Once the trees are all planted, fill the bucket with water again and use it as a soil drench to make the most of the mixture.

Why do I have to prune off so much of my tree when I plant it?

Although the initial ⅓ heading cut can seem extreme, it is important for encouraging the tree to focus on growing roots once it has been planted in its new home. A strong root system allows your tree to better access water and nutrients and to remain anchored. In the long-term this will be highly beneficial to the growth and health of your tree. 

Why hasn’t my tree leafed out yet?

Some varieties naturally take longer to leaf out than others, and environmental conditions can have an impact. Remember, the tree just went through a stressful move and is adapting to its new home!

Due to the high populations of Gypsy Moths in the recent years, it's good to inspect for them as well as they can defoliate young trees instantly, making it appear not to have leafed out. We inspect each tree before it is sent out as well as the packaging material (bag/box/sawdust), and follow the CFIA guidelines for controlling the moth; because of this, we are confident we are not spreading the critters around. Be aware they are considered to have infiltrated virtually all of Canada, and you likely have them on your site weather you think you do or not. For further information on controlling this pest, see HERE.

However, If there are no small fuzzy black caterpillars on your tree, we recommend waiting at least 45 days for your tree to begin leafing out. If you are concerned that your tree is dead, you can check if it is alive by following the steps HERE. Let us know right away if it is dead, but if it is alive continue to monitor the situation and keep us updated! We can offer compensation for an unhealthy tree, but some varieties (eg. Stokes Red apple, peaches) just start growing a little slower than others, and it might be late May/early June before they break dormancy.