Four of Seven Gardening Mistakes, Plant Bare Root Plants

 Rooted elderberry starts getting potted before being planted straight into the ground.

Rooted elderberry starts getting potted before being planted straight into the ground.

There are many gardening mistakes; I have made most, if not all, of them. When I dream about my garden, I don't necessarily think about these mistakes but they do determine whether my garden turns out the way I imagined it. In this series, I am highlighting the seven gardening mistakes I hear from friends and readers of my weekly gardening column "Gardening to Distraction."

Planting Bare Roots Requires Perfecting Planting Conditions

We have all done it, ordered bare root plants and stuck them immediately in the garden. It can work if the conditions are just right; soil is moist, roots have been hydrated, temperatures are warm and these conditions continue for several weeks until the roots establish themselves. 

Most of the time, however, those perfect conditions are not available for the needed length of time.

Plant Bare Roots First in Pots

To make sure bare root plants get a good start, plant them in potting soil in pots. You can recycle pots after washing, or make pots out of common household items that are clean.

Make sure they get regular watering and are growing in conditions that will help them succeed, such as protection from wind and hot sun. Even sunny plant seedlings need a little cover until they get used to the conditions.

It does take a little more time but it's well worth the effort.

Charlotte