Midwinter Merriment: Plant Bare Root

Here it is – a countdown til spring. From now until the first day of spring, I will post ways to make the dreary days of midwinter a little more merry.

Day 22: Plant bare root trees and shrubs.

IMG_3880It may be too early to put other plants and seeds in the ground, but it’s the perfect time to plant trees and perennials. You plant them while they’re dormant. You may not get any fruit the first year, but they do leaf out and look lovely anyway. Plus, you get that sense of accomplishment and playtime in the dirt in the winter.

IMG_3886During the summer, I ordered a pair of evergreen huckleberries from Raintree nursery. They went out with all of their bare root plants and showed up on my doorstep early this month. I’m finally putting my previously under-used retaining wall beds in the backyard to use. During the summer, I put three red huckleberries on one side of the stairs. Last week, I put the two aforementioned evergreen huckleberries in the more shady side to the left. I’m hoping for loveliness!

Mini_OrchardIn the front yard, I’ve got my mini-orchard off and running! Let’s recap, shall we?

IMG_1867I started with a patch of grass and a garden bed that I planted last year with two espalier fruit trees (a cherry tree and an apple tree), some rhubarb and strawberries.

IMG_3044Then, over the fall and winter, I smothered the grass by sheet mulching (learn more here).

IMG_3960Finally, last weekend, I took advantage of Swanson’s bare root plant sale (40% off) and planted three different varieties of columnar apple trees. My trees don’t look like much now, but they will. Plus, I threw in one more bare root rhubarb plant because a pie-loving girl just can’t have too much rhubarb, can she?

IMG_3891The time spent with a shovel in my hands and with dirt on my knees was worth more than the money I spent on the trees. You should have seen the joy on my face.

Want to know how to successfully plant a bare root tree? Check out this video!

Day 23: Sign up for Seattle Seedling’s Spring Fling!
Day 24: Plant primroses.
Day 25: Get yourself a doughnut and make it “for here.”
Day 26: Frequent the Farmers’ Market
Day 27: Eat Root Vegetables Disguised as Cake!
Day 28: Be a Garden Show Goer.
Day 29: Drink more hot chocolate.
Day 30: Create a springtime “advent” calendar.