Immediate Care Upon Receiving Your Order

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  • Please check your order. If you find discrepancies, contact us immediately at or (207) 426-9900.
  • Branches or tree tips may break during shipping or have died back during winter storage. This is normal. Just prune to the next good bud and the plant will be fine.
  • Some plants may have broken dormancy before they arrive. Don’t fret! They’ll be okay. (See: Plants leafing out?)
  • If your ground is thawed, plant your woody plants as soon as possible. Don’t be deterred by snow or freezing nighttime temps; as long as you can get a shovel into the ground, it’s not too early to plant your trees. If you cannot plant right away or if your ground is still frozen, store plants as instructed below and they will be just fine.
  • More information on planning out and planting specific crops

Can’t plant yet?

It’s okay if you can’t plant your items immediately! Store plants in a dark, cool, protected area like a shed, garage, root cellar or basement. Keep roots moist and protected from air, light or freezing, and follow these guidelines:

Woody Plants (trees, shrubs, canes, vines, etc.): Unwrap the plastic bag, tuck the damp shredded paper around the roots, sprinkle with water, and re-wrap the roots in the plastic. Let the trunks and branches breathe while keeping the roots damp, well-drained (no standing water) and covered.

Alternatively, if your ground is thawed and you’re not quite ready to plant in a permanent location, you may temporarily “heel in” your woody plants in a protected cool, shady spot. Dig a trench or turn back an appropriate amount of earth and bury the roots; tamp firmly to remove air pockets. Water thoroughly. Plant them in their intended location as soon as possible.

Asparagus: Open up the bag and store dry in a cool place. Plant when the soil is workable.

Hops: Refrigerate slightly moistened rhizomes in a plastic bag. Plant when the soil is workable.

Horseradish: Open the packaging slightly to allow the plants to breathe. Leave in their packaging in a cool place (35–50°). They want to stay moist but not wet. Plant when the soil is workable.

Mushroom Spawn: Refrigerate or store in a cool place until ready to use, except for Almond Agaricus, which should be kept cool but not refrigerated.

Rhubarb: Open the packaging slightly to allow the plants to breathe. Leave in their packaging in a cool place (35–50°). They want to stay moist but not wet. Plant when the soil is workable.

Strawberries: Keep cold or refrigerate between arrival and planting. We ship with roots slightly on the dry side. If you cannot plant them for a while, uncover the roots, mist them with water and re-cover, leaving tops exposed. Place bundle in paper bag and store on the bottom shelf of your fridge. Don’t be alarmed if the tops become brown or mushy: they will generate new leaves. Plant when the soil is workable and the threat of hard frost has passed.

Herbaceous Perennial Plants: Open each bag and check the stock immediately. Roots and crowns should be firm and pliable, not squishy or brittle. If they are slightly dry, add a little water. Generally, a little surface mold is the harmless result of winter storage and will not affect the plant’s future performance. You may plant directly outside if all danger of freezing has passed, otherwise store them in their open bags in a cool (35–40°) location or pot up plants in well-drained slightly moist potting mix. Avoid coiling roots in the bottom of undersized containers. Set pots in a protected spot in part-shade until weather allows you to plant. Read full planting instructions here.

Plants leafing out?

Some plants may have broken dormancy and begun to leaf out by the time you’re ready for planting. These plants will do fine with some care to slowly introduce them to the sun.
  • If several days of cloudy or rainy weather are imminent, plant immediately. No further precautions are needed.
  • If the weather will be sunny, keep the roots wrapped and damp, and set the plants in partial shade for a few days to harden off. Plant when the new growth looks green and strong. The early leaves may get sunscald but the plants will send out new leaves and look normal within a few months.