Conifers: planting and care
Many novice gardeners are afraid to grow conifers. It is known that coniferous shrubs can wilt in the spring and freeze in the winter. However, if you choose the right species and variety of conifers, select the variety and follow the agro-technical recommendations, then you can make trouble with three free bushes, even in Siberia, which winters almost without shelter.
Planting seedlings of coniferous plants
When planting seedlings of coniferous shrubs, attention should be paid to the quality of the planting material.
First, when choosing a seedling of a coniferous plant of juniper or thuja, give preference not to young, but at least three-year-old specimens. With adult seedlings, the leaf texture and color are already clearly visible, making it difficult to distinguish a young plant.
Secondly, it is important to take a plant with a closed root system, so that the root is well formed. The fact is that conifers with an open root system have heavy roots – only advanced gardeners and experienced nurserymen can handle them.
Third, be careful if you might be deceived when buying a needle plant. As a Christmas tree looks alive for another month after the house is cut down (already dead tree), enjoying the green foliage. The same processes occur when you are dealing with a withered sapling. A transplanted overgrown juniper or thuja sapling may look healthy, green and beautiful, but in fact be dead. Therefore, it is important to buy planting material in nurseries, where the plants are well cared for, properly and timely watered.
How to take care of the plants
When planting, you need to choose a suitable place for different types and forms of coniferous shrubs. For plants with coloured needles (blue and variegated junipers, Variegated arrangements) a light partial shade is suitable. For green and yellow forms of conifers, you can choose a sunny location.
Creeping junipers are planted on a slight elevation, so that they do not end up in a hole in winter due to waterlogging.
Pyramidal thuas are planted in a place where shade is formed in winter on the north side of buildings or under the crowns of taller plants. When placed in the shade, pyramidal thuja feels great as a hedge.
Soil for conifers
The soil should be of medium composition with the addition of sand, peat or soil from the pine forest. Soil for conifers is not lime-laden.
The easiest way is to go to a pine forest and pick up or eat soil right under a pine tree. The floor should be cleared of debris with needles. The planting hole is filled at this site. Also in the pit at planting you can add humus, peat. The size of the pit is slightly larger than the pot.
care of conifers
Important in the care of conifers are mandatory pruning and pruning, watering and covering for the winter. Watering rates depend on the particular crop and the age of the plant. When it comes to winter protection, it is not so much that the conifers or shrubs will freeze, but rather that the needles will burn out and turn yellow. Sun damage can kill the plant, then it definitely needs to be covered for the winter and a time of enjoyment.
Cut needles in spring
All coniferous shrubs, especially if they grow in garden groups, should be pruned. Timely and correct pruning will help plants avoid competition for light and prevent individual plants from shading.
Conifers are trimmed on two dates – mid-May and mid-June. First, we need to get rid of the effects of damaged feathers – all stuck, burnt, withered, all strokes we remove at this time.
Another important task of pruning is to lighten and thin the crown. This will help to avoid such a phenomenon as “linking”, when brown branches appear in the crown from the lack of light. In addition, not all varieties are “pruned” – spherical thuas tend to be less pruned.
Pruning can have a purely decorative function. For example, contour – pruning – to give the desired shape and maintain the existing contour of the shrub. When the needles grow in a garden group, it does not need the lower branches, they can safely be removed when pruning.
Watering conifers is especially necessary during and after planting. A planted seedling should be watered until it is fully engrafted for at least a month. The more compact its root system, the more it requires watering and care.
Creeping junipers, like spherical thuja, require more watering than taller ones. Tall plants have a deep root system. And they require less watering.
Connecting conifers for the winter
Conifers have the biggest problem in winter, not snow or snowflakes, but a frosty root system. This is especially common in winters with little snow. Therefore, the root circle can be insulated with humus and peat. It is important to make sure that the organic insulation does not get to the base of the branches on the trunks, otherwise it will not escape through the bark.
Plants are also covered for the winter. Particular attention is paid to the frost-resistance zone – 50 cm above and below the snow cover. Spherical and pyramidal forms of conifers are also tied up for the winter so that they are not destroyed by snow and ice.
Conifers burn when the snow falls and for 3 to 5 days afterwards. The ground is still frozen at this time, the roots of the plants are not working, and the sun is very bright and hot. Under these conditions, the needles quickly evaporate moisture and burn. It is reassuring to know that after 3-4 winter months, the plant is still not used to spending time in relative darkness, a problem with all evergreens.
It is possible to cover the plants from spring burnout. Pyramidal thuja Drum, a goldenrod form of thuja, is especially protected. Protective frameworks are installed. In the spring, protective material is thrown over them. It is very convenient to use for this purpose sugar bags, facade masking netting, thin nekap (it should have good air passage). Covering coniferous trees from burning occurs at the moment of snowfall and lasts until the soil thaws completely (usually 1.5-2 weeks). In spring, when the snow has melted early and the ground has not yet thawed, it can be helped. For faster warming of the soil under the needles, you can put a film under the bushes or irrigate with warm water. This will provide the plants with the moisture they need and help them resist spring burnout.
Care for conifers in the first years after planting
The health of conifers in the garden depends not only on the quality of purchased seedlings and compliance with the rules of planting. Attentive care: competent watering, stimulation of root formation, protection from burns, thinning – will help new plants to survive the stress caused by transplanting.
Conifers are taking up more and more space in our gardens and yards. The reasons are obvious:
- A variety of shapes, sizes, many needles in skillful hands will be excellent tools for shaping the image of the garden, its structure;
- Evergreen needles make the landscape of the place cheerful even wrapped in snow.
Purchasing quality, winter-hardy seedlings and planting them properly is only half the success of growing them. Attention and simple care will help coniferous bosquettes adapt to their new location and lay a solid foundation for their growth and longevity.
Post-planting stress of conifers
Conifers can be divided into two groups according to the degree of stress received during transplanting:
- Seedlings with a closed root system.
- Plants with an open root system and a large mantle.
Of course, the gardening industry does not stand still. Today’s nurseries take care to ensure that the seedlings they recognize have a high survival rate. Most conifers are sold in pots and tubs with closed root systems.
Making planting material in a nursery is not just about forming a fluffy crown. Great effort is made to create a compact with a large number of subordinate roots of the underground part of the plant. To do this, systematic rooting, transplanting from a smaller container to a larger one is done.
The high survival rate of plants grown with this method has led to very large specimens being grown in pots. You can find three-meter tall spruces, firs, larches, even taller thuas and column-shaped junipers in garden centers. If these plants have a healthy appearance, no yellowing of the tips of the needles, there is no need to fear for their survival.
Tip! When buying a large potted coniferous plant, check the root system. To do this gently lay it on its side and gently move the pot out of the root ball. A properly formed plant will have many darker and lighter roots that are tightly intertwined with the growing medium. The clump should be moist, and you can tell by its shape that the tree grew in this particular pot.
This check will protect you from unscrupulous dealers trying to sell a tree that has just been dug out of the ground with its roots cut off and hastily placed in a tub. You should not buy plants with a withered clump. No rescue measures will increase the survival rate of such seedlings, but will only increase the time they slowly die.
In some cases, conifers come to personal and garden plots from nurseries and forestries with an open root system. Because their underground part has not been formed and is growing freely, the main protective roots are usually cut off. Work on digging, delivery and planting of such plants requires special knowledge and technology, it is better to entrust them to specialists, and after care, care can be performed independently.
To help new pets to survive the stress of transplanting, to adapt normally and develop normally, it is necessary:
- stimulate the formation of roots;
- Provide the right amount of moisture;
- Provide access to the necessary nutrients;
- Create a comfortable microclimate and safe overwintering.
Creating conditions for increased root formation
The biggest problems during transplanting and in the first years of living in a new place arise from an injured root system. For this reason, needle plants experience a lack of moisture and nutrition. Moisture deficiencies include:
- Dry needle tips;
- Low annual growth;
- Coniferous, falling needles.
The following measures increase root formation and thereby supply needed nutrition and water.
Loose soil structure opens the roots access to oxygen, water, creates favorable conditions for active growth. The main technique for its creation is mulching.
Mulch for needle plants usually consists of woody materials of similar species. It can be coniferous fall from thuja, juniper, cones, crushed pine bark, wood chips. A layer of mulch covers the floor surface and retains moisture in it, protects it from overheating, compression, and weeds. A mulch-covered base does not form a crust.
Provides moisture. Watering Modes.
It takes a considerable amount of time for the root system of needlegrass to get into optimal functioning in a new location. A container system is sufficient for 1-2 years. The root system of a transplanted biggreens requires increased attention for 4-5 years. First of all, it is necessary to ensure sufficient watering. Moisture must fill the entire root ball.
Important! Do not rely on the rains. They do not get to the required depth.
Although needle plants are naturally formed resistant to transit (the needles evaporate less moisture than the leaves), it is necessary to take measures to reduce it. One technique is to spray the crown. Regular watering of trees in height reduces moisture loss. Especially on hot days, plants are shaded with screens made of linen sacking or impermeable cloth.
Chemical rooting stimulants
Good helpers in increasing the growth of the root system are so-called phytohormones. They are especially effective for damaged, injured roots:
- Indolylacetic acid drug, “heteroauxin.”
- Indolylacetic acid preparation – “Kornevin”.
Important! There are also other trade names of these stimulants. When choosing, make sure that one of the acids is in the composition.
Spraying with “Epin” and “Zircon” helps to improve immunity after winter and spring burns.
Correcting needle plants after transplanting
If the planting hole is filled with a competently composed floor mix and mineral fertilizers, then in the first few years, fertilization is not required.
Excess nutrition is even harmful to conifer plants, especially fresh organic, undiluted fertilizer.
In the container systems of European nurseries, fertilizer “long” fertilizer in the plant substrate for several years.
Not superfluous will be only periodic fertilization. It normalizes the water balance in plant tissues and promotes adaptation.
Protection of young conifers from undesirable climatic conditions
Preparing for winter
Rainy autumn weather provokes the development of fungal diseases, moistening of roots and root necks. To alleviate these problems, end-of-winter conifers need to ventilate the crown and remove excess water. Free the root neck from mulch.
Without placing the winter of the middle belt of Russia, the Urals, the Northwest perfectly tolerates a large number of needle plants:
- Spikerficht and common;
- Kiefer common, mountain; ;
- Juniper common, medium, creeping forms Rock, Virginsky, Chinese, and many others.
To protect upright forms (Thuja westerly Brabant, Samaragd, Skyroacret juniper, BlueEarrow) from rolling snow, trunks and upright branches. Protect plants of regular geometric shapes (spherical, icy) from deformation by snow is helped by frames made of rails or thin boards.
Important: Do not wrap coniferous plants in foil, burlap and fleece – this will cause the needles to dig out.
Covering materials are used by stretching protective screens and nets. On the crown, it should not be tightly wrapped with permeable materials. An inexpensive option is a net facade netting.
Caring for conifers in the winter garden
The main winter events in a young coniferous garden are the release of crowns, fragile shoots from the weight of the snow cover. Tree branches are gently shaken off, starting with the lower ones and gradually moving to the upper ones.
Dwarf and creeping forms can remain under snow shelters, plus some loose snow.
Protection from spring study and scorching
The sunny days of the last month of winter and early spring are dangerous for many conifers. During this time, there is a risk that the needles will do a lot of damage. This is because the root system is in the frozen soil and unable to absorb water, and the needles continue to evaporate. It is especially heated by the bright spring sun.
The strong ones include: Canadian spruce Konica, lots of Chinese juniper, Rocky, Korean fir, Berry wilt.
Dwarf and creeping plants get burns during spring snowfall. The most endangered forms with variegated needles (golden, blue, white).
To combat scorch and drainage, shade frames and fabric screens are installed on the southern side. Remove such cover can be removed only after the soil thaws completely, when the root system will be able to pump water. Prevention is the choice of resistant species and varieties, which are planted in the shade of buildings and large trees.