Care of Nursery Plants Prior to Planting

Plants will keep in storage at 1° to 3.3°C for up to two weeks. Once temperatures rise above this level, rot develops and drying occurs more quickly. Do not refrigerate plants that have initiated any growth. Temperatures of 4.4° to 10°C can be permitted temporarily, provided the plants are checked frequently for mold development.

Take plants out of cold storage the day of planting and cover them with a tarp until they are to be planted. Plants should be watered to keep the roots from drying out during planting. A cold, cloudy day is preferred to a hot, windy day for planting.

For temporary storage, plant crates should be put in a shaded, cool location and covered with wetted burlap bags. If planting must be delayed and cold storage facilities are unavailable, keep plants as cool as possible and check for mold periodically. Plants can be safely kept for seven to ten days in this manner.

For longer periods, plant bundles should be separated and put in a shallow, V-shaped trench, with roots spread out and crowns covered at ground level with soil. Firm soil slightly around the roots and leave plants in this condition until the field is ready for planting. Locate plants in a well drained area, sheltered from the sun and wind.

Avoid plants from bundles that have grey mold on the roots when they are unpacked. Discard plants with mold development on the upper root and lower crown areas.