GENERAL PLANTING INFORMATION
Receiving your plants
Water plants right away and plant as soon as possible (see below for Spring planting, when you will need to consider the risk of frost and potentially keep plants indoors).
We grow all of our plants in coco fibre or peat plugs, making it convenient to ship and easy for you to plant. Each plant will arrive in one of two pot types:
1) In a coco fiber pot (trees and some shrubs). This can be planted directly in the ground. If wrapped in plastic, please remove plastic first.
2) In a 2.5″ plastic pot. We insert some plants into these pots for shipping. Remove pots before planting. Plants in pots come with a coco fibre mat on top to secure the plant for shipping. Place this around the stem after planting to improve moisture retention and act as a weed guard.
Refer to the tag (or species information on our website) to see where the ideal location is for each species. Remove any plastic wrapping or pot from each plant. Loosen dense roots with fingers if the pot type allows. Dig a small hole slightly bigger and deeper than the size of the plug. The top of the plug should be only a couple centimetres below the soil surface. You may choose to add a soil amendment (compost or triple mix) if your planting location is too hard or rocky. Mix the amendment with the soil you removed to make the hole and proceed to fill it in around the plug. Take the plants out of the plastic pots and plant directly in the ground. The coco fibre plugs (trees) can also be planted directly in the ground. Create a small well around the base of the stem for water collection. One or two inches of mulch on the surface will help retain moisture and prevent weeds from growing near your plants.
You will need to water your new plants every few days for the first few months, then only as needed.
SPRING PLANT CARE
* If you plan on planting before late May, you will need to keep an eye on overnight temperatures and protect plants if necessary. Look up the last frost date for your area.
You will receive plants in two forms:
- Leaves are already out: In this case, the plants cannot handle temperatures below zero. Keep the plants inside near a window until the risk of frost has passed (late May in Southern Ontario). North and East windows are preferred as the sun is not too hot there. Check the soil daily and water as needed.
- Leaves are not out: In this case, the plant is still dormant. Plants can handle the freezing nights (-4°C or above, outside). You can plant outside anytime and monitor for frost risk (see below) after leaves appear. If you do not plant right away, keep the plants in a cool spot (-4°C or above, outside) until you can.
If the plant’s leaves come out after being planted and there is risk of frost (less than 0°C), please protect the plants with a pot or blanket, usually for the night. Check the soil every few days for watering.
The key note for Summer planting is water, water, water! With hot temperatures and long days, plants will need to be checked every day, especially when newly planted. The plants are young and need to be well cared for while they are setting down roots in your garden. Planting on an overcast or partly-cloudy day can also help plants to adjust to their now homes.
Fall is a great time to plant, as the mild temperatures are enjoyable for working outside, and the plants are large and hardy. You will not need to water as often in the Fall as an added bonus.
When Fall planting, we recommend to gently break up the root ball of each plant with your fingers before you plant. Cover the soil that surrounds your new plants with a couple inches of mulch after planting. These two steps will help to prevent any frost heaving.
WINTER PLANT CARE
All plants enter dormancy over colder Winter months. For wildflowers, grasses, sedges, or ferns, leaves and flowers die back in the Winter, but the root mass remains below ground (plants re-sprout in the Spring). Add a few inches of mulch (straw or wood chips work well) on these plants to help insulate them. Some ferns (like Christmas or Wood Fern) keep some of their green leaves over the Winter.
Deciduous trees and shrubs enter into a different kind of dormancy. They lose their leaves and “set” their buds for next year’s leaves in the Fall, halting growth until warmer Spring months. Stems and root systems remain intact for the Winter.
Evergreen plants, such as White Cedar, keep their leaves (needles) year-round but slow down growth over the Winter. Protect your plants from herbivores (like rabbits and deer) with chicken wire cages. Place chicken wire around plants using stakes, and leave space between the plant and the wire. These cages can also become the structure to wrap burlap or cloth around sensitive tree species (like Pawpaw) over the winter.
While snow insulates plants throughout the Winter, heavy snowfall (such as from off of a roof) may cause broken stems. Protect plants from drifting snow with board wind-breaks, and be mindful of shoveling near your plants! Consider flagging your young plants for easy spotting in the Spring as it can be easy to lose track of where you planted the year before.
Enjoy and Happy Planting!