Buying orchard plants: how to choose

It often happens that those tending the garden find themselves buying seedlings from the nursery. Seedlings are best to sprout on their own, because it saves money and gives greater satisfaction, but when time is short or you are just starting, it is a great convenience to buy ready-to-use plants.

For the inexperienced, buying is a good way to start growing without too many complications, skipping the delicate embryonic phase of the plant, while those who grow from the temple can do so out of laziness or for time reasons. , or because in the seedbed things did not go well.

In order not to cheat, you have to know how to choose the plants at the time of purchase, here are some simple criteria to recognize those which are ready to be transplanted, which will develop better in our garden.

Contents [Ocultar]

  • How to distinguish a good card

    • First criterion: the size of the plant

    • Second criterion: the roots

    • Third criterion: the leaves

  • Check for pests and diseases

  • Other selection criteria

How to distinguish a good card

Let’s see what we are looking for when we choose the nursery card.

First criterion: the size of the plant

This review is what everyone does: they try to assess the health of the plant from the point of view. It is not difficult to recognize a plant that looks good: the stem is straight, with a beautiful structure and green leaves. The plants to be purchased must be well developed and robust.

However, this first criterion is not enough, because it simply attests to a temporary state of health. The plant must not only be healthy, but it must also be at the right time for transplanting. A seedling kept too long in the nursery will have suffered from a lack of nutrients and available soil. During its transplanting, it will undergo a shock and it will be able to adapt badly to the soil of the garden, in the worst case it will be able to go quickly in the nurseries. This is why it is necessary to understand how long the plant has been growing and if it is too developed to be in the bread of the earth, and also to rely on other criteria.

Second criterion: the roots

Nursery plants grow in small containers, there is very little room for roots as well as nutrient availability. If we find pots where there are more roots than soil, we must move away from them. Examining the roots of the plant is simple: when there are a lot of roots, all compressed and especially twisted together, it means that it is a little late for transplanting. Staying too long in the tank has produced a lot of roots, but it has also suffered from stress due to lack of space, better to buy smaller plants but at the right age. You can also look at the color of the roots: the whiter they are, the healthier the plant, which should be avoided if the roots are brown.

Examining the roots is always the best method to determine if a plant is old enough to plant out, but it’s not always possible to look inside the nursery trays. For this reason, it is also better to have an external indicator, which is less precise but still useful.

Third criterion: the leaves

We can try to look at the state of the leaves to see if the plant is suffering from a lack of nutrition. In particular, we pay attention to the leaves that are lower, near the neck: the basal leaves . When these small leaves are yellow or dry, it is better to avoid sowing: the faded color indicates that the leaves are sick from a lack of nutrients, that is to say that the plant is a little old to be in the tank, probably underground the plant will have twisted roots. The leaves turn yellow when the plant runs out of nutrients and therefore decides to “sacrifice” the older leaves, giving them fewer resources.

To determine the age of the plant, it is also useful to count the number of true leaves produced: a plant with two or three true leaves (thus without the cotyledons) is the correct age for transplanting.

Check for pests and diseases

To avoid bringing problems to your garden, importing harmful insects or diseased plants, it is advisable to check the seedlings at the nursery. If there are holes in the leaves, it is possible that there are insects, it is better to leave the purchase alone. Cryptogamic diseases usually present with yellow or brown spotted leaves. Another consideration that needs to be done is related to ground bread, where there should be no smell of mold or rot.

Other selection criteria

The choice of plants to buy other useful criteria, independent of the health of the plant, can be linked to the type of culture already practiced in the nursery: the advice is to choose preferably certified organic plants .

Another criterion may be related to the plant variety: if non-hybrid F1 plants are purchased, there will be the possibility of saving the seed for the following year and being able to replicate the culture at no cost.

Now that you know how to choose the right seedling, all you have to do is run to the nursery, buy the seedlings and transplant them. At Orto Da Coltivare you will also find a short guide to how to transplant sowing.

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