The Bare Root Reward

One of the tenets of gardening is planting now for a deferred reward. This concept is never more apt than when planting a twig-like bare root specimen reminiscent of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree. But like Charlie Brown, have faith! Within that twig hides the promise of the juicy plums and persimmons of summer. Although our temperatures lately aren't reminding us of tree ripened nectarines or fresh picked apples, January is the time to get the the greatest variety of bare root fruit trees at local nurseries like Bay Laurel and Farm Supply. 

What is bare root? Bare root trees are field grown for a few years, then lifted from the winter ground when dormant and the soil loosened from their roots. This makes the trees lightweight and easily shipped to local retailers. 

"Growing your own" has always been a honorable endeavor, and our mild climate on the Central Coast is one of the best for nurturing a backyard harvest. You don't need to cultivate a forest--ease in with one or two apples, nectarines or figs. If you're ready to imagine beyond apples and stone fruit, think of nut trees and berries to expand your harvest. The best fruit you will ever taste is tree-ripened and hand-picked from your own garden!

Bare Root Benefits: 

Because of their ease of packaging and transport, you get a good sized 2-year-old tree at 30-50% less than potted trees.

Varieties sold are targeted toward home cultivation, so you can choose from trees graded by best taste and fresh eating quality (not shipping, or shelf-life attributes).

If you're only planting a few trees, look for self-fertile varieties, or get a pollinating mate. Look for "low chill" trees that will be fine with our mild winters.

Research has routinely shown that fresh berries (and dark leafy greens) carry the highest anti-oxidant and disease fighting abilities of anything edible. So plant some berries!

When planting be sure to dig a hole 2-3x the width of your root ball to loosen the soil; then mix in some well aged compost (we buy from Central Coast Landscape Products) to add nutrients and water holding capacity.

 

 

 


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