Vans Pines Nursery, Inc

Seedling Storage

How to Store Your Seedlings Until You’re Ready to Plant

When you receive a new shipment of seedlings, you may not be 100% ready to plant them right when you get them. Be it due to the weather or a conflict in your schedule, we wanted to offer you a few tips on how to successfully store your seedlings until you’re ready to plant.

Take a look at the information below where you’ll find tips on how to store bare root, plug, potted liner, peat quart, and/or peat gallon-sized seedlings until you’re ready to plant them.

Bare Root:

If You’re Planting Them Within 1-4 Days:

  1. Open the shipping box and make sure there wasn’t any damage done to your seedlings during transportation.
  2. Make sure the packing material within the box is moist. This allows for adequate humidity. If it looks dry, spritz the material to rejuvenate it.
  3. After you check the humidity levels, close up the box and place it in a cool, dry area. This could be in an unheated garage or a cold storage facility.
  4. Once you’re ready to plant, take the seedlings out of the box and let them soak in a clean bucket of water for 5-10 minutes until their root systems are moist. *Note: Do not soak them longer than 5-10 minutes as this will cause over-watering.
  5. Once slightly moistened, proceed with planting them as usual.

If You’re Planting Them After 5+ Days:

  1. Open the shipping box and make sure there wasn’t any damage done to your seedlings during transportation.
  2. You will need to heel the seedlings into the ground. Here’s how:
    1. Dig a trench in the ground about 5 to 10 feet long. This trench will need to be dug deep enough to cover the root system of the seedlings.
    2. Lay the bare root bundles in the trench and cover the root system with soil. They can be kept like this without harm for several weeks.
  3. When you’re ready to plant, dig them up and plant them as usual.

Plugs:

If You’re Planting Them Within 1-4 Days:

  1. Open the shipping box and make sure there wasn’t any damage done to your seedlings during transportation.
  2. Your plugs will typically stay dormant for 1-4 days if kept in the closed box in a cool, dry area away from the sun. This could be in an unheated garage or a polyhouse.
  3. Once you’re ready to plant them, take them out of the box and plant them as usual.

If You’re Planting Them After 5+ Days:

  1. Open the shipping box and make sure there wasn’t any damage done to your seedlings during transportation.
  2. Once you open the box, set the plugs aside and create trays out of the box in order to stand the plugs upright. If you have your own trays, you can use those as well. Doing this will allow them to receive adequate aeration.
  3. To store your plugs, keep them uncovered in a cool, dry area out of the sunlight. This could be in an unheated garage or a polyhouse.
  4. Check your plugs often to make sure they are receiving enough water. If your plugs look and feel dry, moisten them with a spray bottle.
  5. Once you’re ready to plant them, take them out of the trays and plant them as usual.

Potted Liners, Peat Quarts, and/or Peat Gallons:

If You’re Planting Them Within 1-5+ Days:

  1. Open the shipping box and make sure there wasn’t any damage done to your seedlings during transportation.
  2. If you will not be planting them immediately, put them in a staging area like a polyhouse with a sprinkler/watering system. This will allow you to keep them there for several months.
  3. Ensure that they are kept away from blowing or drifting snow and are watered regularly.
  4. Once you’re ready to plant them, you can plant them as usual.

Start Growing Genetically Superior Seedlings Today!

At Vans Pines, we make it a priority to grow genetically superior seedlings. We invite you to see the difference and try them out yourself by clicking here to request a free seedling sample of your choice.

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Irrigation & Weed Control

Not sure which program to choose? If the amount of irrigation and weed control is a deciding factor, the chart below shows which programs require the most care to the least care.

Most Care

Least Care

Jiffy Plugs

(36mm & 50mm)

Husky

(Bare Root Transplants)

1 Year Container

(Peat Quart, Super Potted Gallon, Peat Gallon)

Jumbo Husky

(Bare Root Transplants)

2 Year Container

(Peat Quart, Super Potted Gallon, Peat Gallon)

3-4 year Container

(Super Potted 3 Gallon)

Irrigation & Weed Control

Not sure which program to choose? If the amount of irrigation and weed control is a deciding factor, the chart below shows which programs require the most care to the least care.

Most Care

Jiffy Plugs

(36mm & 50mm)

Husky

(Bare Root Transplants)

1 Year Container

(Peat Quart, Super Potted Gallon, Peat Gallon)

Jumbo Husky

(Bare Root Transplants)

2 Year Container

(Peat Quart, Super Potted Gallon, Peat Gallon)

3-4 year Container

(Super Potted 3 Gallon)

Least Care