Way back in spring I had ordered a bunch of things for fall delivery. I got one yesterday - Phlox paniculata. It came bare root. I was planning on getting it in the ground today since we leave tomorrow for the weekend. However one of the nights we are gone it is supposed to dip below 32. Is it safer for me to keep them bare root for the next few days in the garage andf plant on Sunday when we return (and when it will be much warmer again) or should I still plant them today or tomorrow AM? What do you (my experts!) think?
What do you think I should do? Plant or wait??
My best guess would be to wait til you get back so it can have time to put down roots before the next freeze if you get lucky enough.
Either plant immediately or at least put in a pot with wet soil until you get back. They aren't likely to survive several days bareroot. Air is one of a plant's roots worst enemies. Even a really wet paper towel, etc. around them and then the paper and roots put into a plastic bag or wrapped in cling wrap would be better than bareroot.
This late in the season you may want to even consider putting them in pots and on an inclosed porch etc. until spring. They need to get the roots established before even a hard frost much less the ground freezing.
I would go ahead and put them in pots. Leaflady is right about air and plant roots. The best thing would be if you could let them get established before planting in the ground.