How to save seedlings before planting so as not to lose a single root

The most common question that buyers ask us in the spring is how to save seedlings until planting. After all, as it happens — the package has arrived, but it’s too early to plant. Plants germinate in warmth, spend precious forces on the growth of foliage. What to do in such cases? Of course, to store, but everything must be done correctly and not come up with unnecessary complications.


How to save seedlings of trees and shrubs until planting

Fruit and berry, roses, grapes and ornamental plants that come with a root system packed in a soil substrate can be saved in two ways.

The first is the simplest (suitable for short-term storage — no more than 2-3 weeks)

  • Unpack the parcel and make a few punctures on the film packaging that envelops the roots.
  • Assess the moisture content of the earthen clod and if it turns out to be dry, moisten it.
  • Store the seedling in a cool place without opening the package or doing anything else.
  • The main thing is not to place the plants in heat and not to do unnecessary manipulations that can do more harm than help. Store the seedlings on the balcony (loggia, garage, porch, cellar), provide air access to the roots (holes in the film) and keep the earthen clod LIGHTLY moistened. In this form, the plant will wait for a favorable time for planting and will not suffer.

    The second way is more professional and allows you to store seedlings LONGER.

  • Unpack the seedling, inspect the root system, trim the roots.
  • Take a large container, fill the soil and place the plant there, digging the roots.
  • Water, but don’t overdo it! The ground should be moist, but not wet.
  • Remove the container in a cool place, hide from direct sunlight — this is a prerequisite.
  • You can save the seedlings before planting in a different way, and if there is neither a pot nor an apartment in the soil, there is no time to go to the dacha yet. Wrap the root system of the seedling with a damp cloth, then with a plastic bag and hide the plant in a cool, semi-dark place so that direct sunlight does not fall on it. Keep the plants in this state until you can get out to the site and dig in the seedling in accordance with all the rules. 

    Container seedlings do not need additional manipulations at all. Water them upon receipt and leave them to wake up at room conditions or store them in the cellar, but only if they have not started to grow leaves! An awakened plant needs light, so put it on the windowsill, let it begin to grow.

    Watch for moderate soil moisture — overflow is deadly for the plant, because the roots have not yet woken up and they do not pull water from the soil, but they can rot. Storage areas: basement, cellar, refrigerator

    On the issue of storage — in this case, not only packaging is important, but also the microclimate, that is, maintaining a certain humidity and temperature in the room where the seedlings are stored before planting. Usually the optimal temperature and humidity in the room intended for storing seedlings corresponds to that on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Of course, we will not place large seedlings there, but we can create optimal conditions by frequent airing of the same cellar. By keeping the temperature near zero, we prolong the natural dormancy of the seedlings, which will continue until the planting period.

    During storage, it is important to take care of the seedlings, for example, mice can gnaw at an apple tree with pleasure, so it is advisable to scatter poison or place mousetraps in the cellar, but it’s better not to disturb the seedlings once again, it’s unlikely that something can happen to them, you can only sometimes check the condition of the kidneys without unwinding the package.

    Very large seedlings, such as apples, pears, cherries and plums, are easiest to store in the basement, without wrapping them in film, but by digging their root system into wet sawdust. For them, the optimal temperature may be a small plus + 2 + 3 ° С.

    Storing flower bulbs until planting in spring

     Flower tubers and bulbs come in perforated, breathable bags. If it is too early to plant them in the ground, put the onions in the refrigerator (in the lower compartment for vegetables). So the planting material will be preserved until the planting date and will not suffer. But there is a mandatory event before laying the bulbs in the refrigerator — they need to be pickled, disinfected to prevent infection. Still, the refrigerator with vegetables for them is not the best place to store them.

    What to pickle? Preparations Maxim or Fitosporin. Follow the instructions on the back of the pack — there is a detailed algorithm of actions.

    Additionally, before storing, inspect all planting material — if there are pale sprouts, then it is better to immediately plant the bulbs in a pot and place them in a cool place to slow down growth.


    How to save the rhizomes of perennials

    Rhizomes of perennials (phlox, hosta, geyher, miscanthus and others) come in perforated bags placed in a dry nutrient substrate. Often in the heat during the shipment, their buds swell and sprouts appear. What to do with them after receiving:

  • Open the package and let the rhizomes «breathe» at natural temperature.
  • If the roots are kept indoors at a temperature of more than 20 C, then they must be planted in the soil no later than a day later.
  • We recommend using containers and flower pots for planting — it’s not scary. Rhizome perennials perfectly tolerate numerous transplants and by the time they move to the garden they will have time to give a good increase.

    You need to take a pot of small diameter, pour a little peat on the bottom, put the delenka strictly vertically and gently straighten the roots, sprinkle with peat, compact and moisten a little. Put the pot in a dry room with a temperature not higher than three degrees.

    It is under such conditions that the root system of the plant will begin to develop. In late March — early April, you can safely put the pots in a warm, bright room in order to plant a grown plant in a permanent place in May. So you save from spoilage and rhizomes, and give the plant more time to grow and develop.

    Note:

  • Plants with thin roots, such as phlox, are best planted immediately (regardless of the size of the buds). If stored for a long time, they can dry out and become unviable.
  • After planting, all plants (peonies, phloxes, etc.) are best placed in a cool, bright place. The loggia is perfect. But you can’t put it on the floor! There is not enough light. Raise the plants higher, at least on a stool
  • Important! The resulting rhizomes can be placed in the refrigerator (temperature -1-3 C) and kept for as long as necessary before planting in the spring. This is true if you have received strong and healthy rhizomes without signs of germination. How to save seedlings of frigo seedlings before planting on the beds

    Strawberry seedlings (large strawberries) after receiving the parcel CANNOT be stored in the refrigerator. We are sending frigo A+ seedlings that have already been stored in refrigerators and do not need to be re-frozen. Recommended:

    • unpack the parcel and release the seedlings from the packaging;
    • let the plants «breathe»;
    • plant them in temporary peat pots if it is still too cold for planting in the garden;
    • move the containers to a cool and semi-dark place where they will not be exposed to direct sunlight;
    • water the soil in pots VERY moderately — overflow is dangerous, so it’s better to let the earth be a little dry than wet to the touch.
    • Expose to light after 1-2 weeks of quarantine in cool and semi-darkness, during which time young roots will have time to grow, strawberries will adapt and seedlings will be preserved until planting.

    After the onset of heat, rooted plants can be transplanted to a permanent place by simply transferring the earthen ball into the hole. This will save the seedlings until the spring planting of strawberries and not lose a single root.


    coniferous plants

    Coniferous plants are delivered in a container. Before planting in open ground, you can simply hold them on the window. But we recommend not to put them on the southern windowsills, where the sun through the glass will burn the needles. It is better to choose northern windows for overexposure, where the conifers will feel comfortable.  

    The key point in all our recommendations is coolness and moderate humidity. Coolness will slow down the growing season, and the roots may die from the abundance of water. They haven’t woken up yet.

    We wish you good harvests and 100% plant survival!

    Finally, I would like to note that many gardeners, in an effort to get huge yields in their garden, plant trees indiscriminately, not taking into account their height, the distance between individual trunks, the compatibility of trees and shrubs. In order to avoid such mistakes, we have compiled a special tree compatibility table in the garden. We really hope you find it useful.

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