Sunday, July 17, 2011

Moving and transplanting perennials and bushes

As garden designs evolve year after year and perennials outgrow their spaces it’s inevitable that you will have to move plants now and then. This can be tricky business; and depending on the plant, expensive. Following these steps will give your plants the best chance for success in their new home.

  • Water the area deeply the day before.
  • Test a lump of soil half an hour before you want to begin. If it won’t hold together firmly, lightly water the area again. Be careful you don’t want the soil too be muddy though. A evenly moist soil will hold the roots together in a ball. 
  • Dig the new hole and loosen the soil at the bottom to make it easier for the roots to grab hold.  
  • Carefully dig around the plant with a trowel or a spade if the plant is larger. Form a circle well away from the plant. You may have to work around the plant several times to get deep enough. Concentrate on going straight down at first then ease your way under the root ball when you are sure you won’t tear the roots. Try to keep the ball intact as much as you can.
  • Place the plant on a shovel or tarp to move it. Don’t carry it from the stalk or trunk.
  • Once in place, cover with extra soil and tap down firmly.
  • Water generously to make sure that any air pockets are filled in with soil.
  • Check the plant daily, it may need more water than usual for the next week or so.

When transplanting, patience is key. Working slowly and carefully will give the plant the best chance to thrive in its new home. Trust me; I have lost too many plants by moving them quickly and roughly!


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