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Can I Plant in all this Dry Weather?

With all this dry weather, many people are wondering whether it is too risky to plant trees? Well, although planting into dry ground can be a problem, there is a lot that you can do to help the tree or shrub on its way and you do not have to use a hosepipe to do it.
Firstly, by choosing cell-grown, like all the trees at buy-trees-online, you have reduced the risk considerably. Cell grown trees are grown in a root trainer and are planted with the roots still surrounded by the growing medium. This holds moisture next to the roots for much longer, helping keep the tree or shrub alive during initial drought periods. We also add vermiculite to the roots, which help with moisture retention. In the past, trees have been planted 'bare root' with the soil washed off the roots, which makes the plant very susceptible to drought damage and hence why they could not be planted after winter.
The second thing you can do is to plant the tree well. Make sure that the top of the root plug is about 5cm below the surface of the soil and that not roots are exposed to the air. Firm the roots into the soil with your boot to get rid of air gaps.
Finally, it is all about irrigation. The trees and shrubs will arrive well irrigated, so there is no need to soak them overnight in a tub of water. However, the ground in which you plant may be dry, so give them a really good watering after you have planted. Make sure you water around the soil, rather than on the leaves where most of the water will simply evaporate. It is really important that you give plants a really good watering, rather than delicate splashes. If you only add a little bit of water, then this will stay at the top of the soil and the roots will actually start to grow upwards towards the water source. So give a really good soaking so that the water gets to the bottom of the roots and allows good root development. Avoid watering during the heat of the day when evaporation is at its highest. If you feel the soil, then it should be moist, rather than soaking after the water has drained into the soil. Although it can be difficult to over-water trees and shrubs, waterlogging them certainly will stunt growth and sometimes kill them, so make sure you are not causing water pools to form by watering too frequently. As a general rule, you will probably be watering your plants once a day in the summer for maximum growth, although you can often get away with far less. Once the leaves come out, they will show you if they are not getting enough water by shrivelling up. If you have poorly draining ground, then it may be an idea to add some horticultural grit to the ground before planting.
So plant away till your heart's content, ignore the naysayers and give your trees a drink!

30 March 2012 at 13:17 / Comment

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