If you have ordered bare-root fruit trees, they will be ready for collection from your nursery now.
Most nurseries will keep your trees in damp sand for a few weeks until you can collect them. It is really worthwhile preparing the planting holes before you collect your bare-root trees, and preferably a month or so before, if you are able.
Add some well-rotted manure in the bottom of the hole and put the soil back in again to let the worms do their bit before you get to planting your tree(s).
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The trees may have a protective cover such as sawdust or shredded newspaper around the roots or they may be completely bare; either way you need to make sure the roots don't dry out before planting.
If your nursery has requested you collect them, and you don't have the holes ready to put them in, dig a trench in the vegie garden or somewhere out of the wind, to keep them safe temporarily. This is known as "heeling in", and will allow the roots to be kept moist while you get yourself organised.
Make the trench large enough to bury all the roots and with one side sloping so you can lie the tree against the sloping side with the roots in the trench.
Cover the roots using the soil out of the trench or compost or sawdust - just be sure that you pack whatever you use firmly around the roots and water it in well.
Lying them at 45 degrees ensures you don't forget they are not in their final site and it's also a good idea to mark where they are heeled in with a stake so you don't forget they are there and tread on them. That might sound unnecessary but it is possible to get side-tracked!
Remember to move and plant your trees in their permanent positions before they come out of dormancy in the spring, as moving them after that time may damage their roots.
It's also time to start thinking about what you want to grow in your vegie garden in the upcoming spring and summer so you can get ready for sowing seeds indoors to get a head start in spring.
Keep picking broccoli side shoots to keep them producing and fertilise winter lettuce regularly to keep it growing and stop bitterness.
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