4 things to look out for when buying seedlings in September

4 things to look out for when buying seedlings in September

Experienced gardeners have long understood that buying seedlings on the market is a useless exercise, because nothing good usually grows out of them. But even when purchasing a certified plant from a nursery or garden center, not everyone makes the right choice. When examining a tree, you need to pay attention to signs that will help you correctly assess the prospects for its development.

Earthen lump on the roots

The lump should have a high density and the upper part covered with a layer of moss, which indicates a long stay of the seedling in one place. Also, the roots should not look out of the ground by more than 2 cm. If the lump is loose and falls off easily, it means that the plant has undergone numerous transplants and has not accumulated enough strength.

The seedling removed from the container must be placed in a bag with wet sawdust, otherwise it will dry out quickly. It is much safer to buy a tree in a special container.

You should also pay attention to its size. The larger it is, the better the root system is.

But even if the plant is planted in a container, it is necessary to check if it has been transplanted several times. To do this, you need to pull it slightly. If the roots sit deeply and firmly in the ground, and its surface is covered with a layer of moss, it means that the seedling has been growing there for a long time and its chances of taking root in a new place are high. If the soil in the container is loose, and the roots easily come out of it, it is dangerous to take such a plant - most likely, it will die.

The fact is that the root system over the years of life in the nursery, interacting with soil fungi, bacteria and protozoa, accumulates a certain resource for further growth. Multiple transplants deprive the roots of the usual microflora and suction hairs, which supply the trunk and crown with nutrients and moisture. Moreover, during transplantation, as a rule, small roots are cut off and large ones are shortened, and this reduces the viability of the culture.


When planting a purchased seedling, it is important to take into account that roots placed in a new environment may react differently to it. At first, local bacteria, fungi and protozoa will not be delighted with the new neighbor and will try to attack him, releasing aggressive substances into the soil.

Naturally, a seedling that has lost part of its roots during transplantation, is not yet accustomed to the new lighting and location, will have a difficult time. He will try to direct all his forces to strengthening the roots.

If at this time nonsleeping buds are present on its branches, then he will have to use all the remaining resources for their development, which will have a detrimental effect not only on the roots, but also on the seedling as a whole. Therefore, when buying, it is necessary to choose those specimens whose buds are in a dormant state.

In addition, blooming buds affected by frost become brown and gradually die off. Even if the buds are slightly stuck in frost, in the spring they will open very slowly and only partially. And this means that you may not get ovaries on a tree.

If a sharp drop in temperature occurs during the flowering period, then the pistils of the flowers will die off, which will most likely lead to a loss of yield.

Fibrous roots

When buying, be sure to take a good look at the roots of the plant. If there are few of them or they look unhealthy, for example, peeling of the bark is observed, then this indicates freezing.

The root system must be well developed, firm, intact and smooth. Many small root tines should be present.

However, it is also important to consider the type of shrub or tree. Berry seedlings should have several hard skeletal shoots with a maximum length of 22 cm and several roots.

Such a developed fibrous root system is distinguished by black currant. But in gooseberries or red currants, the roots do not look so powerful, but still several shoots should be present.

Before buying, you should also examine the root cut. It should be light and slightly damp.

If the root in the cut is dark, then it is frozen over, which means that the seedling is unlikely to take root. Dry cuts and dried edges of the roots indicate that the plant is deprived of vital moisture and is weakened.

Knotty growths

Another important condition when choosing seedlings is that the roots should not contain swollen areas. Their presence indicates root cancer or pest infestation, you should refrain from such a risky purchase.

The exception is sea buckthorn and similar plants, which have nitrogen-fixing bacteria in their roots.

The root collar is considered a vulnerable spot in many crops. In this place, the seedlings are often attacked by mice, and the gnawed plant will eventually die. Also, the root collar in the spring can rot, and this will certainly negatively affect the general condition of the tree or shrub.

When choosing, do not forget about examining the trunk. It should be free of frost, cracks, cuts and other damage.

Cultures with injured stems usually require long-term recovery. If the trunk is crooked and thin, then most likely the seedling was grown in very poor conditions.

Particular attention should be paid to the places of the cuts on the trunk, if any. In strong and healthy specimens, kalyus nodules are formed there. If the wound is bare, then the plant is too weak.

Other signs of high quality seedlings include:

  • Print

Rate the article:

(1 vote, average: 5 out of 5)

Share with your friends!

How to choose the right apple tree seedling?

How to choose the right apple tree seedling? Look at the examples of the selection of seedlings for your site, what to look for when choosing a seedling.

To obtain a bountiful harvest of fragrant apples, the garden must be periodically renewed by planting seedlings of productive and new varieties.

Always buy only varieties that are zoned in a given area, they will feel good in this climate and will winter well. Choose varieties from local nurseries.

What to look for when choosing a planting material?

Only high-quality, healthy seedlings take root easily and quickly. When choosing seedlings, pay attention to the condition of the root system, the condition of the branches and crown. Saplings with damaged roots take root more difficult, or even may not take root at all. When buying plants in containers, pay attention to the substrate, whether it is overdried, whether the roots are too intertwined in it.

Plants with bare roots dry out quickly, so they need to be planted as soon as possible. Cover the roots with damp burlap before planting or dig into wet soil. Before planting, cut out the damaged roots, and update the cuts (if any) on the roots. Then soak the roots for an hour or two in a clay mash or in a root formation stimulator.

Influence of the type of rootstock on fruit seedlings

One of the many wiggles affects the ability to withstand drought by the type of rootstock. Despite the fact that now more and more dwarf and semi-dwarf rootstocks are in high esteem, seed stocks are much more powerful and more resistant to drought. Naturally, the seedlings themselves on such rootstocks will be much more hardy.

For example, crops such as plum, apricot, peach can be grafted onto seedlings and almonds. Depending on this, the degree of drought tolerance of the seedling will be developed. Since almonds are drought-resistant, varieties grafted onto them will tolerate it well. At the same time, peach and apricot to a greater extent, plum and cherry plum to a lesser extent.

If you buy a pear, then when buying fruit seedlings, choose trees grafted onto seedlings of different pear varieties, which differ in varying degrees of drought resistance.

But I want to note that any seedlings grafted onto pear seedlings will be well resistant to drought and heat. While the seedlings grafted onto irgu, quince, hawthorn do not possess such qualities.

Unfortunately, apple trees, cherries, cherries have been grown recently on core stocks and do not have good drought resistance.

Therefore, when buying fruit seedlings, be sure to ask what kind of rootstock the variety is grafted on, and choose the most suitable for you in the climatic zone. If your area has a fairly dry summer, it is worth looking for seedlings grafted onto a seed stock. If you have a sufficient amount of soil moisture and there are no problems with watering, you can safely choose seedlings on vegetative rootstocks.

I recommend buying seedlings not on the market, but from specialists who can give good advice on the choice of seedlings for your specific area.

It is even more reliable, and even cheaper, to buy fruit seedlings directly from the fruit nursery at the place of their cultivation. In this case, you will be 100% sure of the quality of the purchased planting material.

It all depends on the conditions and terms of storage. Planting seedlings may be in the coming weeks, or maybe in a few months. Plants are usually kept in a trench.

If there is little time left before landing, then proceed as follows:

  • dig a hole in the size of the roots
  • horizontally lay the seedling on the ground with its roots in a hole
  • sprinkle with soil
  • tamped and watered.

If there is still a whole winter before planting, then they do all the same actions, but the above-ground part of the seedling is covered with burlap, and pest remedies are scattered around the pit. The root system can be insulated by digging a deeper hole or filling it with more soil.

Healthy seedlings are the foundation of a good garden. You must carefully consider their choice. It is worthwhile to approach the purchase consciously, and not to grab the first plants that come across, even if you need to plant trees on the site faster. If you choose good seedlings, then even a young garden will delight you with a rich harvest.

How to choose the right seedlings?

What else is the difference between seedlings and seedlings? It's all about survival, and this is very important for any gardener. Seedlings are rarely offered in nurseries. And if they are sold, one must be very careful with such plants, since they do not take root well, much worse than seedlings. If they start, they will grow well, but this does not always happen. It is for this reason that they are not sold as often.

But seedlings, if they are correctly selected and planted, are accepted almost 100%. But the whole question is how to choose them correctly.

When choosing such plants, you need to know several very important rules.

  1. Young seedlings, one-year-old or, in extreme cases, two-year-old are much better accepted.
  2. When choosing, you need to carefully look at the root collar so that the cut of the graft heals well.
  3. It is necessary to make sure that the plant is not infected with fungal diseases.
  4. Special attention is paid to the root system so that it is as little damaged as possible.
  5. It is better to choose a plant with many small roots rather than one large one.
  6. It is very good if there is at least a small lump of fresh earth on the root system.

The best option is to buy seedlings in containers. Here the root is in the ground, it is clearly not overdried, so such plants will definitely be accepted. Only their cost will be much higher. But when buying, you need to pull such a pear or apple tree by the trunk to make sure that the root system of the plant is not just sprinkled with soil before selling.

Watch the video: Biggest Mistakes Made When Starting Seeds Indoors