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Thursday, October 23, 2014
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Published: Wednesday, 5/27/2009

Moving day for plants

I got an e-mail from Brian Wallace of Toledo. He says he's done all of the busy work to get his landscape cleaned up, and now he wants to move some hostas and daylilies around. When should he do it?

Now is a perfect time because some varieties of these plants are just starting to emerge and others have fanned out their foliage and are ready to catch some sun. You can still use the softened sun angle of the spring and early summer days to move plants such as hostas and day lilies and get them in the ground before the hot summer sun bakes them into place.

Take a look at the area where they will be planted. Dig it up and add composted manure to give your plants soil with extra nutrition. Once they are in place, water them thoroughly and pinch back any buds that are starting to form. It is also a good time to move plants when their shoots are only a couple of inches tall.

You also can move other summer and fall bloomers around, including ajuga, myrtle, anemone, black-eyed Susans, blanket flower, coral bells, hen and chicks, iris, lamb's ear, poppies, bee balm, daisies, and coneflower.

When you dig out perennials, look for emerging shoots. Use a clean, sharp spade to dig around the plant. Give it some room - dig deep enough that you will lift out soil along with the roots. If you are trying to transplant a big snarl of iris rhizomes, it is easier to get them out of the ground with a garden fork than a shovel.

Once your transplant is out of the ground, look at the spot you have chosen for it in your yard. Dig the new hole and remember to add some composted manure. Now, you are ready to replant the bloomers that you have out of the ground.

Spring also is a great time to move shrubs. Mr. Wallace also has two hydrangea bushes to relocate. "They don't fit in my landscaping plans and I would like to reuse them and not discard them but move them to another portion of the yard. Is there a particular time of year that this can be done?" Yes. Right now!

When you move a shrub, you want to make sure you get the entire root system that's in the ground. Dig out at least 12 to 18 inches away from the base of the shrub. If you dig into roots, then dig farther out until you are just getting soil. If it is a really large shrub, you might need some help getting it out of the hole. It is also important to dig the new hole before you dig the shrub out of the ground. Take the shrub directly to its new home after you get it out, and be sure to give it some water and fill the rest of the hole with composted manure mixed with soil.

Keep an eye on your transplants. They need a bit of extra care until they get established in their new home. Trim shrubs back a few inches to make it easier on the roots to get going again and trim out any branches that may have been damaged as you pulled the plant out of the ground. You might lose a few blossoms this year if you are moving a blooming shrub, but it will be happier in a spot with lots of room and sun.



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