This is a “Monday’s with Mike” segment. Our Members like to know what I am up to in my nursery at any given time so I try to keep them updated and at the same time, offer up information on plants, caring for them etc.
In this segment it’s spring and we are digging Japanese maples that have been planted in a bed for several years. We are bare root digging them for a number of reasons.
- They are planted very close together so there isn’t much room to get in there and dig a ball without damaging the other plants.
- If we were to dig them and burlap them, even treated burlap only lasts a few months before the bottom of the balls start to rot and when you move them all the soil comes out.
- By bare rooting them we can get them in our super loose, well draining, potting mix, and that makes Japanese maples really happy.
As soon as they are dug, within minutes really because we don’t want the roots to dry out, we heel them into the potting soil pile. Once that is done the trees are safe and happy. In the potting soil pile they’ll start making new roots because the severing of roots during the digging process stimulates new root growth and that’s really good.
We made a movie of the digging process, enjoy!
Now we have all kinds of time, weeks really, to get them potted. They’ll leave out in the potting soil pile and that’s fine, pulling them out to pot them won’t hurt them because no roots will be damaged when taken from the potting soil.
It’s important to note that we are digging these trees before they leaf out. Once they leaf out digging them is likely to kill them dead as a door nail! I tell people this all the time. Make sure you get everything dug that needs to be dug before the plants leaf out. If you miss that window of opportunity the next chance to dig isn’t until after Thanksgiving.
You can see from this photo that there are all kinds of different varieties of Japanese maples in this collection. Did you know that there are well over 1,000 different kinds of Japanese maples? Yep! Sure are.