Hayes & Harlington Gazette
Go back to your roots ALAN
Bare-root trees, shrubs and hedging cost a fraction of the price of container-grown plants and now’s the ideal time to get them in the garden
was when proper nurseries – the ones we had before garden centres – would have just three busy seasons each year instead of the all-year trading we see today.
One was in May and June when folk came for their bedding plants.
The next was in September when they would buy their spring bulbs, and the third was between November and March when the nurseryman would be happy to dig you up an apple tree, flowering shrub or a rose bush from nursery rows.
With the advent of container-grown stock in the 1960s, the planting of bareroot trees and shrubs lifted from open ground dwindled. It seemed easier to plant what you wanted, when you wanted it rather than having to potter about in the garden in winter.
But at this time of the year, if the weather is mild and the ground neither frozen nor sticky, bare-rooted trees and shrubs – and particularly hedging plants – can be bought at a fraction of the price of their containerTIME grown relatives. Hedging plants such as beech, hawthorn and field maple cost very little when bought from specialist suppliers.
The trouble is that nowadays everyone wants plants that are large so that they get an instant effect.
This is all very well, but you will have to pay a lot of money for large plants. They also take much longer to settle in and need more care and attention.
So this winter, be patient when planting a young apple tree, hedge or specimen tree.
Buy one no taller than you are and it will settle in and take off more rapidly than a taller brute. With trees, we now know not to go heavy on the manure at planting time but to put them into ordinary earth in a square hole. With hedges, try the same soil preparation but don’t let any of the plants go short of water in their first summer. That way they’ll grow by leaps and bounds and you’ll save a few quid, too.
...you will have to pay a lot of money for large plants