There is a lot of preliminary work that needs to be done before starting a garden or berry garden with individual trees or shrubs. Planting perennials will not form a crop the following year or in the same summer as vegetable plants. Perennials have a waiting period of three to seven years. Planting incorrect perennials is a waste of many years.
In order for trees to root properly and form a harvest in time, it is necessary to choose experienced varieties. For example, planting of fruit trees: peaches, even frost-resistant ones, will not grow in open spaces in the north. Conifers (cedar) are difficult to grow in the south. Before you start building a garden, you should keep a garden diary to record all the necessary preliminary (preparatory) work.
For the purchase of garden seedlings, it is necessary to determine in advance which types and species, varieties will be planted or replaced by younger varieties.
Draw up a plan for planting seedlings. Include in the diary a planting plan with the names of species and varieties.
Each species should be accompanied by a brief description as follows.
- The height of the crop so that it will not overshadow stunted crops in mixed plantings
- Type of canopy so that the plants do not overgrow, especially if tall, medium-sized, dwarf, and colony-like varieties are to be planted
- The maturity period – early, medium, and late, as care, especially chemical treatments, is carried out at different times.
Once you have outlined the planting pattern for your future garden in your garden journal, you should immediately mark the rows and row spacing.
- For tall and medium-sized crops with spreading canopies, the distance and row spacing are 30×33 foot (9×10 m) per row, respectively.
- For dwarf rootstock trees, 16×16 foot (5×5 m), respectively.
- For colony-like types, it is 6.5×6.5 foot (2×2 meters).
Low and tall, spreading crops should not be planted interspersed with dwarf and colony-like crops. Over time, low crops will begin to wilt as they are deprived of light, sunlight, and air.
MATCH THE LOCATION OF SEEDLINGS TO NEIGHBORING CROPS
It is often said that before you buy a house, get to know the neighbors with whom you must live. To ensure that trees feel comfortable throughout their productive lives, you need to consider crop location (choice of neighbors) when planting your garden.
For apple trees, good neighbors are cherries, plums, pears, quinces. Cherries, foxberries, and cloves have a depressing effect on them. Apple trees and mountain wax trees are good neighbors for pears. It does not tolerate the neighborhood of plums, lingonberries, and cherries. For cherries, the most preferred neighbors are apple and cherry trees. For plums, apple trees are good neighbors. Pears have a depressing effect on plums.
From the garden diary, transfer the plan to the plots, and in each planting hole, fix a sign with the name and variety of the fruit crop.
PREPARATION IN THE GARDEN
After uprooting an old tree or shrub, young plants should not be planted in the same location for the next 2-3 years. Each plant leaves behind certain substances that inhibit the growth of new plants. The soil should be rested from the previous planting. During the waiting period, annuals, flowering plants, shade vegetable plants, and other crops can be planted in this location. You can leave the clean fallow ground to alternate with apple trees or otherwise rejuvenate the soil with previously planted perennials.
All soil preparation should be completed before planting seedlings. Acidified soil should be acidified with dolomite powder before planting the garden. It is more practical to do this around the entire plot, but it can also be done in individual planting pits.
SELECTION AND PREPARATION OF PLANTING MATERIAL
Seedlings with open and closed root systems are available for sale. For fall planting, it is best to use plants with open or bare root systems. It is easier to keep track of the condition and development of the root system and prune the roots, which will stimulate rapid plant development when early cold weather arrives and transplanting seedlings from containers may not work.
If seedlings with leaves are purchased in early fall, the leaves should be stripped off so that the plants do not evaporate water while the root system is still rooting and starting to provide water to the plants.
Frost-resistant fruit seedlings of all medium- and late-ripening varieties (apple, pear, cherry) are usually planted in the fall. There is almost no dormancy in the root system, and the seedlings will adapt to the new conditions in the fall.
If seedlings are bought in late autumn (especially in cold regions), it is better to bury them, keep them until spring and then plant them in a fixed place in spring. You can bury the seedlings in the ground or fill them with sand in plastic bags and keep them in the cellar until spring. In southern regions, they are more likely to be buried outdoors.
Frost-insensitive and heat-loving crops (peaches, apricots, cherries, early apples, pears, plums, cherries) are best planted in the spring. Purchased seedlings should come with live shoots (be sure to check). The first leaves mark the end of spring planting. Seedlings with leaves partially in the ground tend to die because the roots are not yet working, and the leaves need water. If the weather is hot and dry, even watering the roots will not save the air from drought, and the seedlings will die.
PLANTING TIME FOR EACH REGION
Depending on the climatic conditions of the region, trees are planted in spring or autumn. This is mainly due to the need for perennial plants to adapt to new growth and development conditions and the possibility for the root system to take hold in the soil.
Therefore, in southern regions, it is best to plant seedlings in the fall after the main leaf masses of mature trees have fallen off. There are long periods of warm weather in the fall, which is a good time for young plants. The root system will have time to form young roots that will provide water and nutrients to the plants, and the above-ground parts will be accustomed to this, responding less painfully to the winds and rains of late fall and surviving the winter.
Spring planting is not prohibited in the south, but again, the timing of planting should be related to the spring weather. A short spring and a warm spell with a hot sun will dry out the shoots on the ground, even with constant watering. Seedlings will become too diseased and may die or only start developing the following year. Weather conditions are currently changing dramatically, and the plant’s “memory” is lagging behind the new conditions.
Early frosts in northern conditions and deep freezes in the soil are not suitable for young seedlings. Roots will not “work” in cold soils. Roots need positive temperatures in the root-containing layer-at least 46-50°F (8-10°C).
Such conditions in the colder northwestern and central parts of the USA develop during the spring. During the summer, seedlings and shrubs will form a root system, and above-ground parts will grow annually. These seedlings will enter the winter as fully developed plants. In northern conditions, seedlings are planted against a background of rising positive temperatures before the buds bloom and the ground completely thaws.
In the central region, fruit tree seedlings and berry bushes are successfully planted in spring and autumn. In spring, seedlings are planted before the flower buds bloom, and in autumn, when the mature orchards are bare.
RULES FOR PLANTING SEEDLINGS
Planting holes are prepared 6-8 months before planting seedlings of garden crops. Finally, the size of the pit is adjusted to the root system of the seedlings. During the final preparation of the planting pit, the walls should be kept loose so that the applied soil layer can be mixed with the rest of the soil faster, and the roots can grow out of the pit more easily.
When purchasing young seedlings, pay attention to the root system. The main roots should have small adventitious, fertile roots at the end; these will be the first to develop and absorb water. Root cuttings should be lively, white, or with shades of yellow, pink, and other colors. Saplings with dry roots are risky to buy. They may not wake up, despite the seller’s assurance that they are viable. If such seedlings do take root, they will be sick for a long time, lag behind in development, and form their first crop much later.
It is better to buy 1-2-year-old seedlings for planting. They take root much faster and are easier to form. Gardeners say – one-year-old seedlings are plasticizers, 3-4-year-old seedlings are clay for handicrafts. Soak seedlings in a solution of rooting agent or other root growth stimulant 10-20 hours before planting. If the seedlings are in a sleeping state, they can remain in the solution for 1-2 days.
The drainage system is placed at the bottom of the hole. Fine stones, gravel, sand, coarse branches, and other materials were used for drainage. The entire level of the drainage system is covered with sand or soil.
The soil from the dug-out hole is mixed with humus or mature compost. Add 10-15 grams of diammonium hydrogen phosphate to each bucket of soil. Another compound fertilizer with low nitrogen content can be used. Pour the mixture into the hole to form a small hill.
Immediately drive a stake into the middle of the hole and tie the seedlings to it through a figure of eight after planting.
Spread the roots of the seedlings on top of the chaparral and cover it with two-thirds of the soil and half to one bucket of water. During planting, shake the seedlings slightly from time to time so that the soil occupies the space between the roots. Once the water has been absorbed, continue to backfill to the edge of the hole. When planting, the location of the graft or the root neck of the ungrafted seedling should be clearly monitored.
Once planting is complete, a 2-2.4inch (5-6 cm) high berm of 20-30inch (50-80 cm) diameter should be made around the seedlings to prevent water from spreading in the area. Then water 1-2 buckets of water and cover the watered soil with a fine mulch until it is 4-6inch (10-15 cm) high. The mulch should be kept away from the stumps of the plants so that they do not become moldy.
When planting grafted seedlings, the grafting point should be left above the ground so that the neck of the rootstock is at ground level. It is always below the grafting site. This is to prevent the plant from starting to clump under the ground and causing the cultivar to be replaced by a common dwarf variety. If planted properly, the shoots of the scion should be removed. Usually, only the grafted stem is left (for different occasions).
When planting grafted seedlings (stone peach and cherry-picking), the root neck should be at ground level after soil contraction. The place where the stem color transitions to the root color (usually light brown) are considered to be the location of the root neck.
After planting 1-year old seedlings with normal rootstocks, cut 28-30inch (70-80 cm) off the above-ground portion and 20-30inch (60-80 cm) off the dwarf seedlings.
Seedlings with closed root systems (in containers) can be planted from early spring until frost. After releasing the seedlings from the containers, transfer them with a clump of soil to the prepared planting pit. Spread fertilized local soil around them and water generously.
Keep the soil constantly moist during the first month of planting by watering systematically. Cover the head with gauze or other material with a thin weave to avoid burns from the hot sun. If you must plant in summer, choose cloudy or even rainy weather. Water seedlings regularly, provide shade from the sun, and spray in dry weather.
If groundwater is close, drainage should be 12-16inch (30-40 cm) high. Fill the hole with a fertilized soil mix. Form a 12-30inch (30-80 cm) dike (hill) above the soil. To prevent the mound from spreading, use boards, slabs, or other fencing material and fill it with prepared soil.
Create a box, which can be 40-80inch (1-2m) in diameter, for planting seedlings. Dig a hole in the center and plant the seedlings. This type of mountain planting is possible if the water table is close to 40-60inch (1-1.5m) above the soil level.
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