Over the last few days, a flurry of parcels has arrived, containing a gorgeous assortment of bare-rooted plants. Delighted to receive them all, but slightly panicked too as they all need planting or potting up as soon as possible, along with planting a whole heap of Tulips that are already lurking in the wings. Above is some privet hedging for a sad piece of land in need of topiary tlc, some autumn raspberries for a neighbour’s front garden, wild rose (rosa rugosa) for hedging and climbing and shrub roses that arrived today from Peter Beales too.
Why order bare-rooted plants? Well there’s often greater choice if you order bare-rooted plants and they’re also cheaper as there are no heavy pots of soil to transport (or indeed plastic pots to feed landfill sites with!) As the growing season slows down, plants that are now dormant and can easily be dug up and delivered far and wide.
I’ve recently noticed on the Twittersphere that Toby Buckland (previously of Gardeners World) has now started up an on-line bare-rooted nursery selling bare-rooted perennials and roses for autumn dispatch. His website looks very user-friendly and he’s a great proponent of mycorrhizal fungi as “its bacteria speeds up establishment and makes for bigger, better plants full of rude health!”. Must say, I’ve only used mycorrhizal fungi when planting bare-rooted roses before, but Toby’s ‘planting powder’ does sound very beneficial for one’s plants, so will definitely be ordering a pot or two of this helpful product to lavish on my next order of bare-rooted plants. On his website there’s also a very useful ‘how to’ clip for planting bare-rooted new plants -well worth a look.
Some of my bare-rooted arrivals are ‘Polka’ autumn fruiting raspberry canes (above) as I’m intrigued to see what differences there are between these fruits and my Autumn Bliss raspberries. I’m preparing the bed with garden compost and well-rotted manure and will now be sprinkling the roots with some mycorrhizal fungi (bought initially solely for the roses) to help the roots in establishing themselves (thanks Toby!). With all bare-rooted plants, soak the roots for 20-30 mins before planting and for raspberries, canes need to be spaced each about 40cms (16 inches) apart. Dig a generous hole, position the canes to be planted at the previous soil level, sprinkle the fungi powder over the roots and carefully backfill and firm the soil around the roots. Water in well and continue to water the plant should this unseasonably dry weather continue. There’s nothing more to do until Feb now, but click here for more detailed info on planting raspberries and how and when to cut back autumn fruiting raspberry canes in February.
Another welcome delivery is this Old Blush Climber rose. Unlike most other plants, you need to plant the graft union (the knobbly bit where the stems join the rootstock) a good inch below the soil level. Roses need good rich soil too, so mix in plenty of well-rotted manure into the soil and sprinkle the roots with mycorrhizal fungi before backfilling and firming the soil.
There’s still time to order roses, fruit bushes, fruit trees and all kinds of hedging as these can be delivered from November through until March, although the longer you leave it, the less choice there may be. Peter Beales supply great roses (and are very helpful on the phone) and this year I’ve ordered fruit canes from Victoriana Nursery , Ken Muir and Marshalls. The healthy looking privet (in top pic) was supplied by Hedge Nursey.