Plant Care


Most fruiting plants like full to ½ day sun and well-drained soil. Clay soil is not a problem and holds moisture and nutrients better than other soils. If it is not waterlogged, clay soil makes a good environment for your plant’s roots.



If you are planting a bare-root plant, inspect the roots and cut off any broken or overly long ones. You may soak the roots in a bucket of water for 2-4 hours before planting to rehydrate them. For container plants, remove the pot and loosen the root system. If it is very dense, lay the plant on the ground and press hard on the root ball with the palm of your hand to loosen it. Tease some roots from the root ball and trim back any long roots.



If your planting site is covered by grass, remove a thin layer of sod in a circle 2-3 ft. in diameter. This will prevent the grass from competing with your new plants for water and nutrients. Dig a hole deep enough for the roots and 2-3 times wider than the root system. Rough up the sides of the hole with your shovel so that your plant’s roots can easily spread.



BARE ROOTS: Locate the soil line on the trunk, indicated by a change in color, often from dark green to yellow or black. Ensure this point is no lower than the soil level surrounding your planting hole. Grafted trees should be planted so the graft is 2-5 inches above the soil line. Do not cover the graft

CONTAINER PLANTS: It is very important that the soil line of the plant in the container is no lower than the soil line surrounding the planting hole. Make a small mound of soil in the middle of the hole. Place your plant on top of this mound at the proper planting depth and let the roots drape down the sides of the mound – make sure the roots are spread out. Fill the hole with the soil shoveled out from the hole and work it around the roots. When the hole is full, tamp down the soil then water your plant.




Some plants will want to bloom and fruit the first year. While this is fine for containerized plants, for bare-root plants it is best to remove the flowers and fruit the first year so the plant can direct its energy to rebuild the root system. 



Because bare-root plants have been dug up from the nursery, their root systems have been reduced in size. To balance the branches with the roots, the trees have been professionally pruned before shipment to balance the root-to-shoot ratio. No additional pruning is needed upon planting besides removing any broken or damaged branches. Cut these back to below the damaged area.



Your newly planted bare-root plants will not need or be able to uptake fertilizer until their roots are established. The only fertilizers we recommend using immediately after planting are slow-acting organic materials, soil inoculants, and compost spread on the surface of the soil around the base of the plant. Plants grown in containers will benefit from periodic applications of a balanced, organic fertilizer. 



We highly recommend applying a mulch of organic material around your new plant (and older ones as well). A thick layer of straw, compost, rotted manure, wood chips, sawdust or other material will inhibit weed growth and conserve water. As it decays, mulch will also supply nutrients to your plants. Mulch should be kept at least an inch or two away from the trunk of your plants to allow the bark to dry out and breathe.



For all plants, periodic deep watering is far superior to frequent light watering. Deep watering encourages deep root growth, strengthening your plant and making it less susceptible to drought stress. In our experience, far more plants are damaged or die from over-watering than under-watering. We recommend 3-5 gallons per week either through rain or irrigation and increased watering during hotter periods.