Can someone please explain what bareroot is? I ordered some strawberries to start this year for next year's crop and they told me they will be sent as bareroot...
Also, what's the difference in bareroot vs. dormant cuttings vs. budwood/scionwood vs. summer cuttings vs. budwood?
I have access to some fig, peach and grape "cuttings" but I do not know what to order. They're asking me to select which of the above ways that I am asking clarification of, I prefer.
Another option is open-pollinated seeds...
Will someone please advise so I'll know what I'm ordering and why?
Bareroot means that the soil has all been removed from the roots for shipping. This is a pretty common thing that is done with roses, fruit trees, etc. The other things they're offering you are cuttings rather than plants--you'll save money that way but you'll have to root them yourself, so if you're a beginner gardener you're more guaranteed of ending up with a plant if you start with something bareroot rather than a cutting that you have to root yourself. A plant that's not bareroot will be fine too, but it'll cost more to ship since you'll have all the soil on the roots.
As far as the differences between the cuttings...I think scionwood is something that is sold to be grafted onto the rootstock of another plant. This is a more advanced propagation technique so probably not your best bet, but some plants won't start well from cuttings and this is the best way to propagate them. If the one you really want is only available this way, you can sometimes send the cutting somewhere else to have someone else do the grafting for you. Dormant cuttings vs budwood vs summer cuttings I think are just cuttings that are taken at different times of the year, sometimes the propagation techniques to get them to root may be different depending on what time of year the cuttings were taken and some things may root easier from one type of cutting than from another. Unfortunately while I've grown fruit trees and grapes, I've never propagated them so I can't provide advice on which type of cuttings are going to be the easiest to propagate or what the right techniques are.
Open pollinated seeds are ones where the source of the pollen is not controlled (for example if there are a whole bunch of different color zinnias all growing together in a garden area the bees can go to whatever plants they want, they won't just visit the red zinnias). In other words, you know what the "mother" of the seeds was because that's the plant they were collected from, but you don't know what the "father" is that pollinated it. So the plants that come from those seeds may or may not be the same color flower or exact same variety as the plant they came from. Many commercial seed growers carefully control pollination so they know what both parents are, and thus will be able to tell with more certainty what the seeds will give you. In many cases open pollination will produce plants that are similar enough to the parent that it doesn't matter, but if you are trying to grow a particular super duper extra flavorful tomato cultivar for example, open pollinated seeds may not give you the exact plant you want.
No kidding...I was a little reluctant to even post the questions. This seems to be a whole new can of worms that I've yet to tap into. As well as others, it seems...
I hope this post will continue to grow and we can all learn more in this area. Referring back to my original post on DG...I mentioned that my friends said of my green thumb, "you could grow a stick!"...well, let's just see... (smilin)
Well, if you really can grow a stick, then you should do great with the cuttings, that's basically what they are! And please don't ever hesitate to post questions--chances are there are other people out there who have the same question!