Gardening with Jo: Staying true to our roots

With Jo McGarry of Caragh Nurseries

Jo McGarry, Caragh Nurseries

Reporter:

Jo McGarry, Caragh Nurseries

Email:

jo@caraghnurseries.ie

Gardening with Jo: Staying true to our roots

An overview of the nursery at Caragh Nurseries

This year we have discontinued our rootballed and bare-root trees, in most cases, a little earlier than usual, due to the weather’s highs and lows, but the good news is that we still have plenty of mature and specimen trees here at the nursery available in air pots.

Air pots have been created in order to improve the quality and development of roots. For plants to thrive they need healthy roots; and for more mature trees, standard pots can restrict roots over time, seriously compromising the health of the plant. Air pot containers do the opposite, actively enhancing the plant by making it develop a mass of healthy fibrous roots. This maximises their ability to absorb nutrients and water leading to faster growth.

Toughly constructed from recycled plastic, air pot containers can last up to 10 years or more.

A cross section of an air pot

The main advantage of air pots is the fact that the roots prune themselves once they reach the sides, meaning that there is no risk of roots circling or for them to be bounded to the pot. This also means that there is no need for transplanting due to root bound issues.

The little holes in the side of airpot material allow air to enter the soil. When air reaches the roots, they harden at the tips, which stops the growth. This allows the plant to develop a root system composed of many small roots instead of a couple of long, spiralling ones.

We are proud of our stock grown in air pots and we can actively see the results of these trees. It would be amazing if we could grow many more of our trees this way but the costs involved in this system make it unviable to do when the trees are younger. The costs involved would mean the prices would be inflated by as much as 75% and would price us out of the market. Hence why you don’t see these air pots on all our trees. We are, however, using this system for more and more of our mature trees as the percentages work out much smaller and the benefits outweigh the costs.

With a lovely selection of trees including oaks, ornamental pears, maples, limes and some cherries available in mature sizes, we always have lots of stock grown in this way and they are all just coming into bud and/or leaf right now.

Our mature tree selection is available year round due to the air pot system and they can be viewed on the nursery and within our Nursery Park too. For those who haven’t seen our Nursery Park already it is a great way to view our more mature trees in a parkland situation. Being able to view the trees from all angles and meander through the park at your own leisure is, in these times, a luxury to do, for anyone who is close enough to visit us. For those who aren’t I’m sorry and I hope you will be able to soon but for now we will keep you all as inspired as possible with our posts on Instagram and Facebook and also on the website. Next week, we are back to guide you on what to do in the garden this month.