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Plant bare-root fruit

13 December 2013
Plant bare-root fruit

Plant bare-root fruit this month so they establish a good, healthy root system in your garden before bursting into growth next spring. You'll notice lots of bare-root plants appearing on shelves from around now: we think they offer great value for money, as well as a really good choice of varieties.

Among the bare-root bonanza you'll find raspberries sold in bundles of canes: choose an autumn-fruiting variety like 'Autumn Bliss' and team it with summer-fruiting types like 'Glen Moy' for sweet, plump fruit from July till October. Gooseberries include disease-resistant 'Invicta' and delicious red heritage varieties like 'Whinham's Industry'. Look out for strawberries, blackcurrants and redcurrants too to pack this year's fruit garden with goodies.

To plant bare-root, prepare the ground well and put in supports for raspberries or trained fruit. Pop your plants in a bucket of water to keep the roots damp while you dig the planting hole. Spread the roots out in the hole so the plant sits at the same level as it was in the ground (you'll see a darker ring on the stem marking the soil level). Firm in lightly and water well. Finally, prune back top growth by two-thirds, to help the plant concentrate on putting down really good roots.