Using topsoil for successful bare root transplanting
When you buy hedging plants and shrubs from a wholesale nursery, they often come as bare root transplants, rather than potted. This makes them lighter and less bulky to transport, which makes life much easier for you if you need to purchase hedging plants in large quantities. But how do you should you go about planting and caring for your bare root transplants?
Preparing the ground and choosing topsoil
It’s important to make sure that the ground for your hedging strip is free from weeds and grass, which could leach valuable nutrients out of the soil and away from your new hedge plants.
If the soil is of poor quality and very stony, you may need to remove the top ten centimetres completely. Use a good-quality shrub planting compost to fill in the hedging strip, and top it up with blended loam topsoil. For best results, dig the strip over thoroughly or use a rotovator so that the topsoil and compost are well dug-in.
Planting your bare root hedging plants in blended loam topsoil
Before you plant your hedging, it’s a good idea to prune about a third of the height from each plant. Although this may seem a little drastic, pruning immediately will encourage the plants to grow more vigorously and bush-out once they’re planted, meaning that your hedge will become established more quickly.
Look at the bottom part of the stem of each plant. You will notice a dark mark around the stem that indicates the previous topsoil level at which the plants were last planted in the nursery, before being extracted for sale. Make a hole in the topsoil in your hedging strip that is no deeper than this mark. Your wholesale nursery supplier will advise you on how much distance to leave between each plant, as the spacing will vary depending on the species of hedging plant you’ve chosen.
Place each plant into its hole and infill with more blended loam topsoil, ensuring that all the roots are covered. Lightly tread the topsoil down so that the plant is held firmly upright. Water well every day for the first week or so, unless the weather is wet.