I love the bare root season. All sorts of fun stuff to plant. Fruit trees are the first thing everyone thinks of when it comes to bare root. There are lot’s of other fruiting plants that can be planted bare root, yet are not trees. Blueberries are the most popular of the fruiting bushes these days. We sell blueberries in pots during spring, but you can get them bare root right now. They are smaller than the ones in pots, but they are also half the price. Be sure to plant two different types of blueberries for cross pollination.
Asparagus, strawberries, and rhubarb are also sold bare root. As a matter of fact asparagus can really only be planted during the bare root season. It’s not sold in pots later, like strawberries or rhubarb will be. There are also the berries like blackberries and raspberries that are sold bare root. Bare root season is full of possibilities.
In our face paced lives we have come to expect that the plants we want to grow will be available when we want them. Want to plant a fruit orchard in summer? Well then the garden center should have the fruit trees then, right? Want Rhubarb to plant in fall? Well the garden center will have them then, right?
Gardening is about the seasons. Different seasons are for different aspects of gardening. To expect the garden center to have a lot of fruit trees in summer is wrong. Most likely the fruit trees will be gone by summer and planting fruit trees during summer is not healthy for the trees. They like to be moved and planted while they are dormant, in winter. That’s just the way it is! Grandma and grandpa knew that winter was bare root season. After being off the farm for a couple of generations we have forgotten what to do during the different seasons.
It’s time to become attuned to the seasons again. If you want to grow fruit trees, and bushes you have to work with nature, not against her. It some times come down to deciding what it is that’s important in our lives. Do we want to spend our time running around trying to do a million things at once? Rather wouldn’t it be better to do fewer things, but do them better? When I think of all the well meaning people who plant fruit trees and don’t succeed it’s sad. So often the extra time necessary to care for the trees is not allocated and they suffer. Fruit tree gardening does not have to be hard, but it does require forethought and an awareness of what to do each season.
This is the season to plant fruit trees and bushes. Don’t wait until the end of February, it may be too late to find the varieties and quantities you want. With the increase in interest in fruit tree gardening, I think we will run out of the fruit trees earlier than in years past. Remember, the best time to have planted that tree was ten years ago. The second best time to plant is right now!
Ed Livo, our fruit tree sales rep standing by a fruit tree prunned low for ease of care. See how much easier it would be to pick the fruit and care for a tree that is kept small like this one.
I am excited about the bare root fruit tree sales . People seem to be responding to events around them by taking back control in areas of their lives. Growing you own fruit can be such a rewarding project on so many levels. I think there are two reasons people are more interested in growing there own fruit this year. The first is safety. People are concerned about what goes on their food, and whether it will be bad for their health. Growing their own fruit they will know exactly what has been applied to the fruit trees. Want to go organic? Your choice.
The second reason is flavor. I am always pointing out the white fleshed nectarines to folks. Some say they don’t want buy nectarines since they never taste good. I think they feel this way since the only nectarines they have tried are the hard as rock ones in the store. Fresh picked nectarines are fantastically flavored, even better than peaches. So flavor is something that compels one to start a fruit garden.
There are other reasons to grow your own fruit. A chance to show your children where food comes from, and the work involved in bringing food to the table. There is also the desire by some to only buy food grown or sourced locally. Locavore is a term used to describe someone who only sources their food within a 100 mile radius. It’s a growing movement, and nothing is more local than your own backyard.
Here is a great resource for the home fruit gardener. Dave Wilson Nursery supplies our bare root fruit trees and they have a great web page that talks all about Backyard Orchard Culture. This is a technique that was developed exclusively for the home fruit tree gardener. It utilizes semi-dwarf trees which stay smaller and makes them easier to prune and care for. It also utilizes summer pruning in addition to the dormant pruning we do in winter. It’s also about “successive ripening” which means less volume of fruit, but a more continuous supply of smaller amounts of fruit. Much better for a family.
Fruit tree sales are brisk, and I think we will sell out earlier than we have before. If you are interested in getting some fruit trees this year I would try and get into the nursery the next week or two for the best selection. Make this the year you finally start that fruit garden.
I want to thank Angela at Garden Bliss for a recent comment she made at my other blog The Blogging Nurseryman. She basically chided me for not posting enough in this blog. She is exactly right and gave me the kick in the but I needed to get this blog back in shape. Thanks Angela!
She wants to hear what’s exciting at the garden center right now! First off are the bare root fruit trees and bushes. Apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, pear, pluots, blueberries, etc., are all available right now. The fruits listed are just some of the varieties available. Bare root means plants sold without dirt around the roots. Trees and shrubs that go dormant in the winter can be dug out of the ground and sold just during the winter season, which around here can end in late February. The prices are the lowest of the year! Sure you can buy fruit trees in spring, but they will cost more, and wont get the benefit of early spring root growth. Fruit trees are starting to sell now, and I think you should choose the varieties you want now, before they are gone! Dave Wilson is our fruit tree supplier. They have a great resource for the home fruit gardener. Check out their info on Backyard Fruit Tree Culture. This is a way to maximize your space and get the most out of your fruit gardening. Check it out here.
The Daphne and Sarcococca are getting ready to bloom. What with the weather being so nice lately they are ready to pop. The fragrance from these two shrubs will remind you that spring is not to far away. I call Daphne The Romantic Plant since it usually blooms around Valentines day and makes a great gift!
Here in The Foothills people often buy plants that are not acclimated to the cold we get in winter. Buy visiting the nursery now you can see plants that live in the cold. This is the time to look at the “bare bones” of the garden, and see how you can improve the winter vista. Nothing helps improve ones outlook than getting into the garden and getting ones hands dirty. When you work in the winter garden you are expressing a positive outlook, since Spring ALWAYS follows winter. This year more than ever a positive outlook is needed. Just getting outside and working with the winter garden will improve you outlook, guaranteed!