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Caring for Bare Root Plants

You decided to save money or perhaps try something new and ordered bare root plants from a catalog or through the internet.  Now you are wondering what to do with them once they arrive.

Most growers ship bare root plants just prior to the recommended planting time for our area.  Dormant plants can be planted directly outside in properly prepared locations as soon as they arrive.  Unfortunately the weather or your schedule may not make this possible. 

Store dormant bare-root plants in a cool, dark frost-free location until they can be planted.  A root cellar or refrigerator work fine.  Pack the roots in moist newspaper or peat moss if needed and keep them moist.

Pot up and grow any bare-root plants that started to grow during shipment or storage.  Grow these plants in a sunny window or under artificial lights.  Gradually introduce them to the outdoors once the danger of frost has passed.  Once acclimated, plant them in their permanent location.

A bit more information: Once your plants are in the ground water thoroughly and often enough to keep the soil moist.  Mulch the soil with shredded leaves, evergreen needles or shredded bark to conserve moisture and reduce competition from weeds and grass.

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