Commandment Number One -
Do not allow seedlings to dry out. - Ample moisture is the key factor in seedling survival; seedlings must never be allowed to dry out from the nursery to planting. Plant immediately in the field. Remember "if they dry, they die".
Commandment Number Two -
Transport seedlings carefully. - Rough handling can damage root systems and predispose seedlings to stress.
Commandment Number Three -
Avoid temperature extremes. - Fluctuations in temperature, especially excessive heat, during storage and transport can result in seedling trauma during outplanting.
Commandment Number Four. -
Plant promptly. - Once seedlings are lifted, minimize storage time, especially early in the season and avoid extended transport time.
Commandment Numbr Five. -
Do not trim or prune seedling roots. - Seedlings need every single tiny root to absorb moisture and nutrients from the ground. The more root surface, the better the growth.
Commandment Number Six. -
Do not wash or shake gel from seedling roots. - Gel applied to roots at the nursery prevents drying out during transport, decreases planting shock, and improves acclimation to the planting site.
Commandment Number Seven. -
Plant bareroot seedlings after October, preferably after December 15 and before April. - Cooler temperatures are more conducive to seedling survival and healthy growth.
Commandment Number Eight. -
Plant seedlings deeply. - Greater exposure to the soil and its water content - even one-half inch of added depth of planting - significantly improves survival rates.
Commandment Number Nine. -
Use mechanical planting, if possible. - Although slightly more expensive, planting mechanically yields better results and is an investment that pays off.
Commandment Number Ten -
Do not attempt to plant seedlings that have frozen in the pack. - Freezing irreversibly damages the root system, leading to seedling death.