If you have bare-root roses, fruit trees or other dormant plants awaiting transplant but don’t have time (or a prepared space) to plant them in the ground, keep them happy and healthy while they wait.
If the delay is less than a week, put the plants’ roots in a bucket of water. If it’s a large plant or tree, use a wheelbarrow or large trash can. It’s important to keep the roots moist and hydrated, even while the plant is dormant.
Another option: Plant your new bush or tree in potting mix in a 5-gallon or larger container. Add two spoonfuls of bone meal, but hold off on any high-nitrogen fertilizers. In spring, transplant it to its permanent location. That will allow the roots some time to develop, too.
Also in the garden this week:
• Remove old flowers from camellias and azaleas to avoid petal blight.
• Finish pruning roses. Pull off and discard any leaves that remain from last year’s growth.
• Start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed indoors.
• Plant bare-root roses and ornamentals such as peony, bleeding heart, coral bells and astilbe. Plant blooming camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons.
• Transplant or direct seed snapdragon, candytuft, lily of the valley, larkspur, Shasta and painted daisies and stocks.
• In the vegetable garden , plant Jerusalem artichokes, strawberries and rhubarb.
• Transplant seedlings of lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and kale. Direct-seed radishes, beets, peas and chard.
– Debbie Arrington