It’s late winter or early spring in the Pacific Northwest. You just returned from the garden shop, where you purchased some new bare-root roses, trees or shrubs that will look lovely in your yard. Perhaps now you’re wondering how to plant the burlap bundled trees or shrubs you bought on impulse. Fear not! We can help!

  • Come February and March, bare-root roses are available at Pacific Northwest garden stores. Less expensive than containerized roses, they often transplant into the garden easier than containerized roses.
    • Wake up the roots by soaking them in warm water for an hour or two before planting.
    • Find a warm, sunny spot in the garden. Dig a wide hole (slightly wider than the root spread), making sure it’s deep enough to cover the top of the roots. Add some compost or planting mix and plant the rose, keeping the graft union about a half-inch above soil.
    • Water thoroughly. If the plant sinks below the recommended height, gently pull it up to the proper height. Add more soil if needed.
    • Make a ridge around the plant to form a watering basin. Add mulch.
  • Late January and early February, you’ll start to see bare-root trees and shrubs arrive at your favorite garden store. Make sure to keep the roots moist and to plant them as soon as possible once you get them home. You can even soak them overnight.
    • To plant, dig a hole at least as deep as the roots and twice as wide. Add up to 20% compost and some fertilizer.
    • Make a cone of soil in the center of your hole.
    • Place the plant on top of the cone, gently spreading the roots. Make sure the crown (where the roots meet the trunk) will be at, or slightly below the ground level once its covered with soil.
    • Add soil. Tamp it down firmly but gently.
    • Water the plant thoroughly. Note: You’ll need to do consistent deep watering of your new shrub or tree for at least two years.

Your newly planted trees, shrubs or roses will add beauty and value to your yard for years to come. If you need help with landscaping in or around your new plants, give us a call at (360) 265-5231.

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