Why bare root?
As the cool of winter sets in with the frosty mornings and days where fog doesn't lift, we are often left uninspired about what we can do in our gardens. These cool days are infact the best time to be in your garden planning and planting for the coming Spring! Winter is the perfect time to be planting bare root fruit trees and roses, but why bare root?
Buying bare root has many lesser known benefits! Buying trees and roses bare root is first and foremost cost effective, saving on costs incurred by the retailer. They are not bagged or potted making them easier to take home and plant straight into your garden! You aren't paying for the service of having your tree bagged, potted or cared for.
You can also be more selective in choosing your new tree, buying bare root is buying when there is the best selection meaning you can best pick for your area, double planting or even triple planting!
But what about planting your bare tree? Firstly, congratulations on your purchase! The first matter you need to address is pruning your tree, our propagator Fleming's Nurseries, suggests pruning the tree by 30 - 50% to give it the best start and so it grows well in spring. Why do we prune? When bare root trees are uprooted by 'diggers', the process leaves around half of the root system behind but the tree has its entire top. Fleming's also suggest to not be too overly concerned with which bud you are pruning back to or if a branch is pointing in the right direction, you simply need to prune back around half of the tree. An easy way to do this is using the first branch you prune as a 'yard stick' to make pruning the other branches easy.
When planting roses however, there are other things to consider! When buying bagged or bare root roses, its important to follow these few key pointers from our propagators Treloar Roses.
- Make sure your ground is well watered before planting.
- Don't allow roots to dry out at any stage of planting
- Don't add fertiliser until your roses begin to establish; ie Spring
- Don't use any form of herbicide/weedicides in ground preparation or near the roses at any stage
Treloar's suggest when you have purchased your bagged or bare root roses to unwrap them from the plastic and place the roots in plain water for at least 24 hours prior to planting; DO NOT LET THE ROOTS DRY OUT. Plant your roses as soon as you are able after soaking. If you purchase roses before you have prepared your ground it is suggestible to 'heel' them in.
Being conscious of your planting position for your roses when planning your garden is key, for diseases resistance they require 6 hours of direct sunlight, preferably even more. If you are planting into ground that has had old roses removed it is suggestible to replace the soil with fresh, quality loam. We have an improved soil blend at the yard in Longford which roses have shown their liking to and has many other benefits to its use.
- When planting roses, dig your hole around 30cm wide by 25cm deep with a small mound in the middle to place the roots in an outward position.
- Water your rose before covering the roots, firming down lightly creating a moat. The graft or bud union should be 25mm above ground level.
- Water your rose again thoroughly, this helps to remove the air pockets trapped around the roots.
- Mulch your roses; roses love to be mulched. Mulching reduces their water requirements and makes them more tolerant of the hot dry summer we may encounter. Mulching also reduces weed growth in your garden.
- Prune your branches to approximately 25cm in length from the graft; just above a good growth eye.
Standard roses should always be securely tied to a sturdy stake to offer support and structure. Metal star posts or hardwood droppers are often preference in permanent fixtures.