MILL FARM PLANTS - A GUIDE TO STORAGE AND PLANTING
STORAGE OF PLANTS
Your plants are generally supplied bare-rooted during the winter months and therefore in a dormant state. They should still be planted as soon as possible, but until then, they can be stored in the correct conditions as follows.
When you receive your plants, remove them from the bag and stand or lie the plants down in an enclosed building, out of the wind and spray the roots with water. Ensure that the plants remain damp until they are planted. Do not stand them in water, but rather cover with either a sheet or straw to retain the moisture around the roots. In such conditions the plants can be stored for up to two weeks.
If longer periods of storage are required the plants should be 'heeled in' by opening the bundles and standing them upright in a trench and surrounding the roots with loose soil.
In this manner the plants can be stored for longer periods.
PLANTING ADVICE BARE ROOT PLANTS
Using a small sharp spade open the ground. Lay the roots in the soil and plant at a similar depth to the original soil line on the stem. Firm the soil gently back around the roots ensuring that all root hairs are covered.
It is advisable to use spiral guards and canes when planting as the plant is protected and held upright during early stages. The spiral guard is coiled around the plant, the cane pushed firmly into the soil inside the guard. Mulch around the base of the plants with organic matter, if possible, to aid moisture retention.
The use of Rootgrow granules on bare root plants aids growth. Also the addition of Bonemeal into the soil is beneficial. If the soil is generally poor, organic matter or compost should be incorporated with the existing soil to help establishment.
Weed growth must be controlled around the planted area to reduce the competition for available moisture. During the first summer the plants may require watering during dry spells. Therefore the installation of a leaky hose along the hedge line may increase growth rate and aid survival. In the second season the weeds can be controlled using knapsack sprayer or granular herbicide.
PLANTING ADVICE ROOTBALLED PLANTS
Dig a sufficiently large hole for the root ball and loosen the surrounding soil. Mix in some form of slow release fertiliser or compost depending on the quality of the topsoil.
Place the plant in the prepared hole ensuring that the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding soil level. Do not plant any deeper than that.
Leave the hessian in place around the roots when planting as this will soon rot away and will not impede root growth.
After the first summer growing season we advise reducing the height of any individual single stems to encourage the plants to bush-out.
This can simply be done using a pair of secateurs.
In subsequent years - two and three, a light trim with a hedge cutter may be best to maintain the hedge shape until the required height is reached. Pruning can be undertaken from August to November, once the plants have stopped actively growing.
If spiral guards have been used they can be removed after 3 years once the plants have gained sufficient strength. If rabbits are present they can be kept on for longer.