Taking Care of Young Plants
Taking Care of Young Plants In Hot Weather –
Young plants need to be watered daily until they root out in the soil, if your temps are over 75 degrees. This can take 4-6 weeks. Then watering can be slowly reduced. Also, since the plants have been in a dark container for 2-3 days, water and place in a part sun area for 1 day then plant and water in permanent location the following evening. In Cold Weather –
Young plants are sometimes not as cold hardy as they will be once they are established. If you live in an area where the winter temperature fall below 25 degrees, provide wind protection and cover until they are hardened up in the fall, if planted after August 1. Also, if we say that a plant is hardy to a certain USDA Zone...it will not be hardy to that Zone until it is fully rooted out in the soil. Or plant in a container that can be brought into an area that does not freeze and is not over 65 degrees and plant outside in the spring. In cool weather, water containers only when the soil dries. Temps that vary 20-40 degrees are better than a constant temp. Unheated rooms have a higher humidity and are better than rooms heated by a furnace or wood stove, because the humidity is too low. Do not put in a dark room...high light is important even if the plant is dormant. Do not use chain store potting mixes meant for vegetables and annual flowers as it will not provide enough drainage, and will root rot and kill your plant. And most important, fertilize! For container growing use only fertilizers meant for containers... any fertilizer can be used if planted in the ground. Call if you have any questions. If you have deer, rabbit or squirrel problems, spray new leaves with a deer repellant such as Plantskydd that does now wash off in the first rain. If Planting in a Container, Don't Kill Your Plants with the Wrong Potting Soil or Fertilizer! When planting in containers it is very important to have the right potting soil and fertilizer, or it will kill your plants. Potting soil needs to have very good drainage. 30% grit (3/8- Pumice, fine crushed gravel, course sand, 1/4 decomposed granite or very fine pea gravel). Then add 30% 3/8- fine bark, 20% peat, 10% perlite and 10% garden soil or compost. Do not use Big Box or Chain Store potting mixes meant for vegetables, annual flowers or house plants or you will kill your plants with root rot. Even the name brand potting mixes advertised on TV will kill your plants, they are not designed for strawberries, raspberries, any plant, shrub, or tree that is not an annual. Fertilizer needs to be low salt. Organic fertilizers like fish, alfalfa, bat guano, kelp, bone meal and rock phosphate are OK, just keep the nutrients balanced, and watch the nutrient level so you do not add too much or too little. Do not use "hot organics” like blood meal or fresh chicken manure under 1 year aged. Chemical fertilizers should say on the label "for container growing". Do not use 10/10/10 or 16/16/16 and similar fertilizers as they are high salt and will burn your plants.