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Planting Instructions

I am here to help. Below are instructions for what we sell. Just click the tab for the plant you purchased. If you do not see the information you need then just give me a call 919 696 0328


Our goal is to make sure you’re completely satisfied with your adoption. I know that sounds funny but think about it. It is a living thing that you bring into your home. I will make sure you have every resource you need to help it grow. My veteran guarantee is for 30 days upon receiving the plants. If you receive your item and you are not happy with what you see. Please send picture immediately (within 24 hours) to 919-696-0328 or email them too: info@handpickednursery.com. I will help you with the planting, we just ask you to give the plants a couple of weeks. I will guarantee my plants if you use our instructions. Please call first and do not just return the plants, I will make sure you are happy with your purchase. I will never hide from a sale. Communication is key.

First Thing's First!

When you receive your plants, they will be on the dryer side. We do not send our plants with a lot of moisture because they can start to mold inside the package. Dry roots will not hurt the plant. It will usually be the last inch that are dry and the rest will be good. When you receive your plants take them out of the package immediately. You can place them in your fridge if you do not have everything you need.  See picture! If you would like, you can also cut the roots to 3" in length. Within three days of planting you will know that your plant is healthy and alive! It is best to start them in an environment that is between 50 and 80 degrees. If it is outside that parameter, it is best to start them indoors in cups.

Although bare root strawberries are quite hardy, proper planting and care is still at the utmost importance! Below are steps we strongly encourage you to follow for the most success with your newly adopted strawberries! Never start bare root plants if you are planting in soil stackable, milk crates, hanging bags or barrels with side opens. These need to be started in cups first.

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Strawberry Plant Basics

Soil: Ideal soil pH is 5.5-6.5. Strawberry plants need well-draining soil. Your soil mixture should be at least 30% sand with the remaining being good quality soil. Do not add peat moss, vermiculite, perlite because it will help the soil hold to much moisture and the roots will rot. Also, peat moss will change the acidity of the soil. Always check your soil before you add anything to change the ph. It is like adding salt to your food before tasting. Not all soil is created equal and Ph is very important to the life and productivity of the plant.

Environment: When you first start these plants, you need a consistent environment with temperature, moisture and airflow. These are bare root plants and need to create new feeder roots. With the proper soil mentioned above, plant in a consistent warm place. Planting out of the range of 50 to 80 degrees. Will confess or confuse the plant. It just needs to be comfortable to grow. After two weeks you can transplant.

Water: Bare root strawberry plants need well-draining soil and without the sand it will be difficult to maintain proper moisture.  To help maintaining moist you will need to cover the top soil with a hardwood mulch or landscaping fabric. Plastic can be used but you will have to feed underneath the plant. Also, do not use straw or pine needles to cover the soil. When it rains a lot the straw can attach itself to the crown and keep it wet and kill the plant. Pine will alter the PH and it harsh and will kill the plant. Consistency in moisture is key and without mulch they will struggle. Never use pine straw or regular straw as mulch. Pine affect the acidity and regular straw because when it rains a lot will attach itself to the crown and keep it wet. Also, straw does not really protect the soil from drying. 

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Garden or Container Planting

WMLA: When planting strawberry plants, the first two weeks is the most crucial for a bare root strawberry plant. They need consistency in warmth, moisture, lighting and airflow (WMLA). As stated above you need a consistent environment. The plants will struggle if you plant outside and there is a lot of fluctuations with WMLA. Just start indoors and then transplant after two weeks of growth (about 4 healthy leaves).

Garden Planting or Containers: If you plant them in raised covered rows like the picture or a container the plants should have the soil covered with mulch or landscaping fabric. :  When planting in containers it best to use a container at least 12 oz or bigger. With a smaller container or pot it is hard to maintain proper moisture and you will either keep the soil to moist or it will dry out to fast. Unprotected soil can dry out fast and make it hard to maintain proper moisture. On a hot day the top inch of soil can dry out within hours and kill the plant instantly by drying the roots out below the crown. Mulch also protects the berries that are growing.

Stackable, Crates and Bags: First never put any type of container in full sun because on a real hot day they will cook and dry out quickly within hours.  You cannot start bare root in crates or grow bags they need to be established first. Bare roots need to have established feeder roots before they are put in tight spots and they tend to position themselves down and this causes the crowns to angle downward. This will cause the crown to stay wet and die. You will always loose many if you start in crates or bags. The stackable with soil need to be established in a comfortable location and not full sun. The plant has to establish feeder roots first. Also top mulch all your soil.

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Hydroponic and Aquaponic Basics!

Wick, Water Culture, Ebb and Flow, Drip, NTF, and Aeroponic

Plant placement: The Strawberry plant has two important parts the roots and crown. Both of them should never be in standing water. I recommend cutting roots to about 2 inches. Then putting them in the medium you are using. The crowns do not need to be in the medium. The main killer of strawberry plant are root and crown rot. You will see growth within 3 days. If you do not there is something wrong.

Medium: All these systems can work but they have rules that need to be followed for bare root strawberry plants. The medium you use is very important because as mentioned above the roots need to breath. Rockwool, perlite, vermiculite are not a good medium and can kill the plant. Volcanic pumice is my favorite medium because it does not over saturate the roots. Clay pellets are also good but you have to use a net pot at least 2” or bigger. Smaller pots will not cover all the roots.

Solution: pH range 5.5-6.0 for optimal results, up to 6.5, the three primary nutrients required by strawberries are Nitrogen, potassium ,phosphorous. Also, substantial amounts of calcium, magnesium and sulfur, are also needed, as well as hydrogen, carbon and oxygen you will naturally get through the air and water.

Growing Environment: Growing Strawberry plants hydroponically requires low humidity with good air flow because strawberry plants are prone to powdery mildew in high humidity environments. Temperatures should be around 65 - 75 degrees F with 12 to 16 hours of light is optimal. June bearer strawberry plants are not ideal for growing strawberry plants hydroponically. They have a shorter harvest time and would be a waste for your system unless you know that in two months you need to put something else there.

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Receiving your Asparagus

Our asparagus plants are highly productive, two-year-old, large-graded crowns grown in managed nursery conditions, hybrids resistant to fusarium crown rot, asparagus rust and other diseases. Asparagus plants can live up to 25 years so make sure you find the perfect place to plant them. When you receive them take them out for the plastic bag immediately. If you cannot plant right away, then you can put in your fridge for up to two weeks. Just make sure to put roots in a paper bag to help control the humidity and place in your fridge. Sometimes the roots will arrive with some mold but that can happen during transit. Just rinse off and let them and let them air dry so the roots are not wet. Wet roots can create mold.

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Preparing the area

It doesn't matter if you are planting in a raised bed or the ground. Below are the soil,spacing and watering requirement. IF you want to put in containers I recommend a very big container of 10 gallon or bigger. Just know that containers are hard to maintain 365 days a year for 25 years. 

Soil: You need well-draining soil and I recommend 30% sand mixed into the soil. Using rich compost or potting soil will retain to much water and rotten the roots. Most commercial grower grow in 50 to 70% sand. With the proper portions you do not need to layer the soil just dig and bury. Last thing P.H. needs to be 7.0–7.2. Not all soil is created equal. Must check it.Also add 1lbs of 10–10–10  feritilzer per 20 sq ft.

Spacing:  Space your plants 12” apart and 10 to 12” deep. Each row needs to be 2 to 3 feet apart. They need good air flow for the ferns to do their job. One rule if you are going to live at your location for a short period. Plant the closer together to get a better yield. One inch per year you will live there.

Watering: Asparagus plants do not need to be watered as much as you think. These are 10 to 12” below the surface and they collect moisture all over. If it doesn’t rain within 8 days, then water well. A raised bed I would knock that down to 4 days.

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Maintaining your Asparagus

Now you have them planted and have to make sure they grow and flourish for the next 25 years.

Fertilization: In establishment year dress in August with 1/4 lb 10–10–10 per 20 sq ft and work into top 2" of soil and in following years ½ lbs 10–10–10 per 20 sq ft in early spring and again following harvest. Lime, bone meal, and super phosphate help maintain proper soil levels but always check your levels.

Harvest: The first year you get these in the ground, grab a snack. If you see a nice spear enjoy it. Just leave a couple to fern out. The plant needs the fern to grow bigger and stronger. Next year grab 30% and the year after 100%.

Troubleshooting: The biggest problem with asparagus are moisture problems. It can cause so many problems such as: root rot, pest problems, and many diseases. Your soil should have moisture but not be moist. If you see your soil being moist on the surface it is much worse 12” below the soil. So if you live in an area that receives a lot rain or is in a lower area with heavy clay you need to amend the soil and ad more sand. The next thing is it could just be still to cold. Soil temperature needs to be at least 70 degrees to grow.  

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Receiving your blueberry plants!

You will receive your blueberry plant bare root without the container. You can soak them for an hour if you like. Spring is the best time to plant blueberries, planting in fall is ok but is recommended to plant in containers. Blueberries need ridiculously acidic soil. Although most sources give a range of 4 to 5.5, they really don't like a pH higher than 5; and they will quickly join The Choir Invisible in soil with a normal pH. For spacing: 4’–5’  and between plants 8’–12’ between rows. So excavate their planting area as deeply as your muscles allow, use a garden fork to break up the clay at the bottom and refill the hole with equal amounts of milled peat moss, compost and any native soil you have that doesn't look like clay.

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Caring for your Blueberry Plant

Mulch the plants with an inch of peat moss, an inch of compost on top of that and then some well-shredded leaves. As always, don't let any mulch actually touch the plants. Like azaleas and rhododendrons, blueberries are shallow rooted and water hungry, and you'll need all members of that mulch combo to keep moisture in the soil and prevent competition from grass and weeds. You must check your pH to test the soil around your blueberries. If a yearly mulching with naturally acidic materials like peat moss and shredded oak leaves can't keep the pH low enough, you'll have to turn to sulfur. It's natural and lowers pH well, but it takes a long time to become active in soil, so ideally you'd apply it now if you know you're going to need it. (Heck; ideally, you'd apply it a year in advance!) Three-quarters of a pound of sulfur should lower the pH of 100-square feet of sandy soil one point; it'll take a full pound in clay soils. And pay attention to the plants; their color will tell you if they're happy with the pH or not. Nice deep green leaves are the best sign of pH success.

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Getting the most out of your Blueberry plants

It is best to prune a blueberry bush for a larger harvest, because wouldn’t you want the best and largest amount of blueberries possible from their bushes. There anything better than a ripe sweet blueberry you picked right outside your own door! It seems so contradictory to cut off branches in order to get more fruit, but that’s exactly what we need to do with our fruit trees, especially blueberry plants. Pruning blueberries is slightly different than pruning fruit trees, though some of the principals remain the same. The best time of year to prune blueberries is in late winter or early spring. You want to prune them when the fruit buds are showing. Next, look at the bush. You want the middle of the bush to have good circulation and if it’s too compact the berries in the center won’t receive much light and won’t ripen well. Look for branches in the middle that don’t have any or very much new growth. Those will be the ones you want to remove. Be sure and cut the branch off down to the very base of the bush. This will encourage healthy new growth.

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Raspberry and Blackberry Planting Info

When you first receive them I would have a 1 gallon container for each plant and make sure you mix 30% sand into the soil to help with the drainage. Make sure to fill the 1 gallon and not just have it half full. It is harder to maintain consistent moisture when you have little soil. Put mulch on top of that to help keep moisture in the top inch of soil also. Then put near a window inside a place that is above 65 degrees with good light and air flow. This will give you a head start for the season. 

Raspberry ADDED BONUS: Cut 3 inches off the top of each stalk and put in a small pot with the same kind of soil. Have the stalks half in the soil and put a big plastic bag over it see picture.  Water well and then put near the window to let the sun warm up your new mini greenhouse. This will give you possibly double the plants you ordered.

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Things to avoid!

1. Do not put in pure potting soil or add per lite or peat moss. PH has to be around 6.5 and 6.8. Adding Peat moss will lower it and damage and stress the plant.

2. Do not put the plants into a container half full with soil (5 gallon bucket) and put in the garage.

3. Do not plant outside in full sun, especially when it is hot. This will dry out the stalk and stress the plant. 

4. Do not forget to mulch the top of the soil. If you plant it in containers or the ground the top inch of soil can dry out fast and kill the plant.

5. The plants just needs a place with humidity, warmth, well-draining soil, mulch on top and sun light from a window or morning or late afternoon sun. If you have any questions just call so I can help. 

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Receiving your trees

Planting Bare root trees are so named because the plants are dug from the ground when they’re dormant ( and sometimes leafless) and their roots are shaken free of soil. Immediately upon receiving a bare root tree, I would remove it from its packing soak the roots in water for at least an hour. Roots that seem at all dry need to be soaked in a bucket of water for about eight hours. It’s best to plant bare root trees as soon as possible. Summer planting has to be planted completely out of full direct sun and heat. Morning and late afternoon sun is better. If you tree arrives with leaves that are dried or dead looking it does not mean your tree is dead but just the leave dried during transit. Just let the plant recuperate and it can take a couple of weeks to a month. When a plant is in shock it needs to establish new feeder roots before it starts to grow new leaves. One way to check is to pinck the skin hear the soil and see if it is still green. But, that is also why we send an extra tree to help with your success.

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For the first two weeks these need to be planted indoors. If there are no leaves, then no sun is needed. It will stress out the plant. For when transplanting outside, please put them in an area with only morning or late afternoon sun. You will also need to mulch the top of the soil. For the soil, use at least 30% sand mixed into the soil. Pure potting soil can damage bare root plants because it is too damp for new root growth. These small roots will drown and die if over moist for a period of time. Beyond the planting hole, I just spread these amendments on top of the ground; by the time roots extend this far, the lime or sulfur will have leached into the soil. Do not mix fertilizer into the planting hole, since it could burn new roots. And don’t add peat moss, compost, or other organic materials, or the roots won’t venture beyond the amended soil.

Tree planting and Care
Miracle Fruit Tree

The Miracle fruit tree requires only partial sunlight and occasional watering. The Miracle fruit needs acidic soil and loves containers and you can use the same formula as blueberry soil and add some sand to the soil to help with the drainage. It grows almost 1 foot each year, reaching a height of 3  to 5ft. at maturity. The bright red berries catch attention against the deep green foliage and you get to enjoy fruit for most of the year. Your plant is self-fruiting and  produces small, white flowers, which are followed by vivid scarlet blooms. It's self-pollinating indoors. However, you will see even more berries if you set your plant outside and let the wind and bees do their work. We grow your plant longer, so it typically fruits the very first season. 

Watch This!
Passion Fruit

When you first receive your plants, I would start them indoors for a couple of weeks near a window to get plenty of light. A consistent environment will help the roots to settle in their new home. Spring time is best time to plant a passionfruit vine. Before you plant, prepare your soil by incorporating rich compost (and chicken manure if you have it) to an area around one to two yards wide. Dig a hole twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball, gently tease the roots, plant the vine and water well. Passion fruit vines propagated by either method take two to three years to reach maturity, flower and begin to bear fruit. Passionfruit vines are heavy feeders and need plenty of water and well-drained soil. Add mulch around the root system, to reduce evaporation and protect it from the hot sun. Leave the vine to climb in its first year, then pinch out the top bud to encourage lots of side shoots.

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Seeds

There are so many kinds of seeds and would be impossible to list them all. Click the blue button. Then at Youtube put in the search bar your seed name and planting instructions and you will find many videos to help you.

Make sure to watch more than one so you can find video that has the supplies you use. 

Go to Youtube

COMING SOON!

We are going to create a new way to farm at your home. This system you will be able to grow everyrhing. It comes in two styles: Hydroponics and Aquaponics set up. Reserve yours now.