Q What is a bare-root plant?
A A bare-root plant is grown in the field and then lifted just before it is sent to you. It is usually cheaper to buy than a pot-grown plant and better for the environment as no plastic pots or peat-based compost are used. Roses, hedging, fruit and trees are often sold this way.
Caption: Bare-root plants are better for the environment than pot-grown ones
Q When can I can buy bare-root plants?
A Bare-root plants are only available in the dormant season from November to the end of February.
Q What should I do when my bare-root plants arrive?
A Open the packaging and check if the roots feel damp. If they feel dry, take the plant out and put the roots in a bucket of water for a few minutes only - don't leave them any longer in water or it could kill them.
Caption: Don't leave bare-root plants in water for more than a few minutes
If you're not ready to plant them in their permanent position straight away or the weather is too wet or cold, 'heel them in' by planting them roughly in a spare patch of ground. Don't leave them like this for more than a week or two if possible.
Caption: Roughly plant if you can't put them in their permanent positions straight away
Q How do I plant bare-root plants?
A Remove weeds and large stones from the planting site. Then dig a planting hole that will allow the plant to be at the same depth it was before (check the soil mark on the stem). Put the roots in the hole and spread them out. If you're planting a tree, put in a firm stake that you can attach the plant to. Refill the planting hole and firm the soil around the roots. Like anything newly planted, it should be watered in and then watered thoroughly whenever the soil feels dry for the first few months after planting. Mulching around the plant will help to retain moisture.
Caption: Try to plant at the same depth the plant was at before