Taking Care of Young Plants
Taking Care of Young Plants
In Hot Weather –
Plants have been in a dark box for 2-6 days in transit. Remove plant from plastic bag and remove water gel. Dip the root ball in a bucket of water and let drain. Repeat every day until you plant. Place plant in an area with 3-4 hours of morning sun until you plant. Plant in the evening in permanent location and water in.
Young plants need to be watered daily until they root out in the soil, if your temperatures are over 75 degrees. This can take 4-6 weeks. If your temperatures are over 80 degrees and your humidity is 10-20%, you will also need to mist the tops of the plants 2-3 times a day. If your temperatures are over 80 degrees, you may also have to provide temporary shade for several weeks so the plants do not burn. Shade cloth or a piece of cardboard placed on the Southwest side of the plant works well for this.
If you do not do this you are likely to kill your plants.
In Cold Weather –
Remove plant from plastic bag and remove water gel. Dip root ball in a bucket of water and let drain. All plants can be put into 1 container and roots covered with a moist cactus potting mix. Store plants in an area with bright light that does not get below 28 degrees and is not over 40 degrees in daytime and plant outside in the spring.
In cool weather, water only when the soil dries. 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. Instead use a cactus mix for storing the plants until they are planted in their permanent location in the very early Spring before buds start to swell and they start to leaf out.
Temperatures that vary 20-30 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.
If planting immediately outside, young plants are sometimes not as cold hardy as they will be once they are established. If planted after August 1, if you live in an area where the winter temperature fall below 25 degrees, mulch and provide wind protection and cover until they are hardened up in the fall. 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. Amend your garden soil with 10% bark, and no more than 10% compost. Do not amend your garden soil with 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.
And most important, fertilize! Call if you have any questions.
If you have deer, rabbit or squirrel problems, spray new leaves in spring with a deer repellant such as Plantskydd that does now wash off in the first rain.
If Planting in a Container or Raised Bed, Don't Kill Your Plants with the Wrong Potting Soil or Fertilizer!
When planting in containers or raised bed it is very important to have the right potting soil and fertilizer, or it will kill your plants. Unless you are experienced with growing perennial plants and trees in containers, there are many things that can cause you to fail. Growing in the ground in good native garden soil is more forgiving.
Potting soil needs to have very good drainage. 25-30% stone grit (3/8- Pumice, fine crushed gravel, very course sand, 1/4 decomposed granite or very fine pea gravel). Then add 30% 3/8- fine bark, 15-20% 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. Do not use any mix that has Moisture Control or water gel.
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.
©Scenic Hill Farm Nursery, 2020
Scenic Hill Farm Nursery, 2820 NW Scenic Drive, Albany, OR 97321,