mootube
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Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 1:27 am

Broken dormancy too soon. Help needed

I am from the UK, zone 9 - 8b and I'm quite new to gardening.
I bought a lot of bare root fruit trees of various kinds a month ago but instead of planting them outside, I used large pots and kept them indoors. Well, it seems some of the dormant plants have started to open their buds. My raspberries are the furthest gone. I've seen them leaf and droop then leaf again within a month.

I really need to get some advice on how to save them all or most. Only some seem to be breaking dormancy. The Raspberries, Japanese wineberry has started and now my little girl's Morus Negra that I really want to save.
All ideas greatfully recieved.

grandpasrose
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Posts: 1651
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 4:21 pm
Location: Quesnel, BC, Canada - Zone 4a

Are these plants you are intending to plant outside later - I'm assuming so. What has happened is you have bought plants that have been kept in dormancy at the grower, and then also where ever you purchased them. Then you brought them home and were too nice to them. By potting them up, and keeping them in your nice warm home, they think it's time to grow.

What I would suggest you do, is get your plants somewhere that is fairly cool (much cooler than your house, but not freezing), and in the dark. I would also stop watering them very much. Just enough that the soil stays slightly moist. Doing this should slow them down so that they will come at a more appropriate time.

When it is time to put them outside, you will need to climatize them. Don't just take them out and plant them. Put them outside for a few hours each day for a few days first, and then plant.

They should be alright - don't panic!! Let us know how it goes, and feel free to come back with any further questions or just to visit! :wink:

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

mootube
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Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 1:27 am

Thanks for the reply Grampasrose, it's really appreciated. I should be around quite often I think, with the amount of fruit plants I'm aquiring. :)

The problem plants were ordered last summer and delivered December and by the time of delivery I thought I may be moving house so didn't want to plant them out. I've had a kitchen full of potted trees (under fluorescent light sometimes but kept at a low temperature) ever since.

I'm not quite panicking yet though you'd never tell by my last post. I had thought to just leave them where they are until the last frost has past, then plant them out but I've read info about not moving plants that have broken dormancy.

Now you mention climatizing, I planted some gooseberries out today with minimal climatizing (cool room to cold air). Black Velvet, Whinhams Industry, Hino Red, Leveller, Invicta and Pax. The outside temperature hasn't been too severe lately but I still don't want to lose any.

Anyway, I have a perfect room that can be kept just above freezing without going below, so I'll follow your advice. Any thoughts on moving leafing deciduous plants in the growing season? There's still a chance I could move house. Thanks

grandpasrose
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Posts: 1651
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 4:21 pm
Location: Quesnel, BC, Canada - Zone 4a

You're very welcome. Feel free to stop in anytime, that's what we're here for! :D
The very best time for moving plants of course, is in the spring or fall. However, that is not always in our control, as in moving.
When you move your plants, choose a cool overcast day, without much wind. Before digging the plant, water it thoroughly. When you dig the plant up, bring as much of the soil surrounding the roots with it. The less you disturb the root, the less you will shock it.
When you replant them, use the same instructions I gave you in the previous post - lots of organic matter and some bone meal mixed with the soil, water well.

The importance in moving plants is to shock them as little as possible. So by eliminating scorching sun, heat, wind, dryness, and not disturbing the roots, your plant shouldn't even notice it moved! 8)

Hope this helps, and let us know how it goes! :wink:

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

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Posts: 7493
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Location: Colchester, CT

Next time heeling them in (digging a trench and burying much of the plant on a slant) is a better way to handle bare root. Digging the trench ahead of time and keeping the excess soil somewhere unfrozen (garage, basement) to plant them when they do come in takes care of those late deliveries, and also works for live Xmas trees...

HG

mootube
Full Member
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 1:27 am

Thanks for the tips, they're exactly what I need at the moment. Funny you should mention heeling in. The same day I planted the gooseberries, I also heeled in 200 Crataegus monogyna. They're for a not so little project I have in mind which I can't say much about now but I hope will be very fruitfull in a few years time. I've been a big fan of Haw since I started reading about plants so I've selected about ten different varieties to grow and play around with.
In the last few days almost everything except the haw have broken dormancy, my grape (lakemont) has sprouted giant buds in days, the juneberry is looking greener and I found out my service tree didn't die when I potted it (all its leaves fell off).
At least they're all in the cool room now so if I can hold them off for a month, I'll take a chance with climatisation and planting.
I didn't know gardening could be so much fun. Fruit growing is now my favorite hobby and I've hardly started, I've got a feeling the best has yet to come. 8)

grandpasrose
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Posts: 1651
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 4:21 pm
Location: Quesnel, BC, Canada - Zone 4a

Another one hooked!! :lol:
Gardening is a wonderful pastime, and a lot of fun and is enjoyed by many people from all walks of life. You will meet some very interesting people on the forum, and learn alot from them as well.
Glad you are having so much fun and keep in touch!! :wink:

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

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