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Planting in Cold or Warm Spring Weather

Methley plum

Methley plum

PLANTING: 
So long as the ground is not under water or water-logged, frozen, or covered with snow, and the weather is above freezing when you plant, you can plant dormant potted or bare root plants. For optimal results planting bare root plants, day time temperatures should be below the mid-60’s for several weeks following planting (to give roots time to establish before top growth becomes too demanding). Follow the basic planting instructions in the Raintree Owners Manual we send with each order. If you did not receive one, or have misplaced it, you can also view it on our website on the top bar under Growers Info.

Planting In Cold Climates:
If you live in an area that is still experiencing winter weather, bare root plants that are still dormant when received can tolerate brief exposure to temperatures down to the lower 20’s after they are planted. If you are not ready to plant when you receive your order, refer to the front page of the Raintree Plant Owners Manual which is included with each order or can be found on the Raintree website.

Planting In Warm Climates:
Those of you living in the southern and southeast U.S. may be regularly experiencing day time temperatures in the 70’s. If this is the only time you can acquire particular plants, follow the late planting instructions in the Raintree Nursery Owners Manual or the following tips to ensure success with your new plants, or pre-order plants to be shipped to you at your optimal planting time early next spring. If your day time temperatures are regularly in the 80’s plan to receive bare root plants next season.

1) If you choose to plant out in a permanent location right away, mulch the soil surface well after planting, irrigate regularly to keep the soil evenly moist, not soppy wet, and provide shade until the plants are well-established. Warm air temperatures encourage faster shoot growth than root growth in the cool soil, creating water stress in the tree. Shade helps to reduce the water needs of the plant and give the root system time to catch up with the top of the plant. Follow the same techniques when planting out our dormant potted plants. Providing shade when planting will help these plants adjust to the change in environment.

2) Plant your new plants in a temporary, shady location, mulch, and water regularly through the summer. In the fall, when the worst of the summer heat has passed, move the plants to their permanent location. By the following spring they will be well-established and ready to perform.

3) Plant your new plants in containers, if receiving potted put in somewhat larger containers, maintain them in a protected location, and plant in their permanent location in the fall when the worst of the summer heat has passed.

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About Theresa Knutsen

Theresa Knutsen is a horticulturist and writes the Raintree Nursery newsletter "Growing Tips." Email: theresa@raintreenursery.com.

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