Bareroot season is here. This is the time that you can add to your garden inexpensively. Bare root plants are carefully dug up at growing grounds with their roots bare, meaning that most of the dirt around the roots has been removed. One of the primary advantages of bare root plants is that they tend to have an extensive, well developed root system as a result of being allowed to develop normally. When the trees are handled well, the root system is left intact, and the tree, shrub, vine or berry will have a better chance of rooting well and surviving when planted. Bare roots don’t have to adapt to any differences between container soil and the soil in your garden. They are also cheaper to ship because the lack of a dirt ball makes them much lighter and this lightness makes them easier to handle and plant, too.
You might be interested mainly in growing ornamental plants like shade trees or a flowering plum, cherry or crabapple. Maybe you want another fragrant lilac to cut for bouquets or a purple wisteria vine to cover the arbor. Planting something new while it’s available in bareroot is one of the easiest things you’ll ever do in the garden.
If growing something to eat is your goal, think of the first fruit that comes to mind. This is the tree you should start with. Already have a few fruit trees but want to add more? Why not add another variety this year that ripens later so that you extend the harvest season throughout the summer? It’s no fun when everything ripens at the same time and you become a slave to the garden- picking, canning, drying, cooking, bribing the kids to take extras to the neighbors.
Remember that fruit trees need at least 6-8 hours of full sun during the growing season. Don’t worry if you don’t have much sun in the winter time, the trees are dormant then anyway. Citrus trees, however, are green year round and never lose their leaves so you won’t find a bareroot lemon tree for this reason.
What fruit tree varieties can you grow here in the mountains? Well, almost everything. We have well over 500 per winter. Most of us get 700-900 hours. What does that mean? Well, many fruit trees, lilacs, and peonies need a certain number of hours during dormancy where the temperature is 45 degrees or less. You can give a plant more cold in the winter and it’ll like that just fine but not less. Those in Santa Cruz can grow Fuji apples, for instance, but not Red Delicious. We can grow both.
What else can you add to your garden to eat? Blueberries offer more than yummy berries to eat. They make beautiful hedges 4-6 ft tall with gorgeous fall color. They are self fertile but it you plant two types like a Berkeley, Bluecrop or Blueray together you get even more fruit. Other edibles that are available now are asparagus, artichokes, strawberries, grapes, blackberries, boysenberries and raspberries.
Don’t miss this opportunity to add to your garden’s bounty.