To get a good production, planting technique is a determining factor. The cultivation of root crops requires that a number of conditions be met, including compliance with the adequate time periods, as to offer maximum chance of success. The technique varies depending on the trees’ packaging, whether they are bare root, in containers or in clumps. Plant recovery is rapid provided that the appropriate technique is used. 

In gardening, this mostly concerns stone fruit trees, pomaceous trees and rose bushes. The planting technique must create conditions favourable to the tree’s recovery if one expects to have a good production. Plants are packed bare root when the roots are released without any support. To keep them cool, they are stored in soil before planting. Root crops can be in containers such as plastic pots containing soil. For root crops in nets or clumps, the roots are tightly packed and surrounded by a clod of earth in a plastic container.

The ideal time for planting root crops 

While waiting to be planted, root crops should be sheltered from the wind and sun by being placed under a jute canvas or a tarpaulin. Unlike plants in clumps or in containers, which can be planted year-round, the best time to plant root crops is during dormancy. This period begins in October and can last until the end of March when the trees are leafless. Periods to avoid are those of extreme weather conditions: severe frost, excessive moisture and drought.

The technique for successfully planting fruit trees 

Start by removing the parts of the plant that have been damaged during transportation. During pruning, make sure to preserve 3-4 buds on each shoot in order to keep a third of the stem’s initial size. Nonetheless, small shoots on cherry and peach trees should be kept, as they are sap drawers that nourish the branches. For plants in clumps or containers, water immersion is recommended to moisten them before planting. Nets or baskets must be removed before planting, while making sure not to break the clod of earth. The planting hole should have a depth of one and a half times the height of the root system to prevent it from touching the edge. The removed earth must be set aside to be amended with fertilizer and planting soil. The neck of the plant should not be buried or covered with soil and the stake should be exposed to the prevailing wind. During planting, preferably a two-person task, the plant should be held up by the first person while the second proceeds to gradually cover up the plant with soil, making sure to avoid the formation of air pockets. Complete the operation by packing soil around the plant, forming a small bowl to receive irrigation water. Set up a stake after 5 weeks, so that the bark has grown enough to provide sufficient resistance.

Some helpful tips for successful planting 

Initial pruning of pomaceous fruit trees should be done gently because they easily resume growth. Remove 1 / 3 to 2 / 3 of branches according to their layout; vertical branches should be pruned more severely than weaker horizontal branches. To prune pomaceous and stone fruit trees, the hairy roots must be cut and the crushed or damaged roots must be trimmed. To increase the probability of a successful planting, it is recommended to apply coating treatment to the roots, especially if the ground is dry. This consists of soaking them for several minutes in a mixture of water, growth hormone, mud and clay. This operation also has the advantage of preventing roots from drying out after being grubbed in the nursery. When digging the hole, the bottom of the bed should be loosened to ease root penetration. To do this, simply till the hole’s bottom and add topsoil. Finally, we can fill the bottom of the planting hole with steamed horn; a natural product sold commercially that is an excellent fertilizer for all root crops.

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Published in Planting by Alexander on 04 Jul 2011