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Archive date:  February 9, 2018

Contemplating Transplanting?

The clock is running for optimal transplanting time!

Sometimes it is paralysis by analysis.  You just want the weather to be perfect.  You know you must get some digging done, but you are not sure conditions are right.  Maybe it will be warmer tomorrow.  Maybe the rain will hold off.  Maybe when the days get longer you’ll get it done.  One thing is certain:  You must transplant soon, or you will have to wait until fall.

You’ve been looking at that shrub too long.  The tree has just about outgrown the spot.  Your crape myrtle is too close to the house. You have reached the breaking point. No matter what the case, whatever the plant, something’s got to give; and the good news is: Now is the time to transplant…but there’s no rush, you have at least 4 to 6 weeks; but time has a strange way of slipping away. Start now by planning and taking proper action.

Before digging shrubs, tie up the branches; every measure should be taken to minimize the amount of time the plant is out of the ground.  Therefore, it is a good idea to dig the hole where the plant or tree is being moved to first. Trees greater than an inch in trunk diameter (measured 6 inches off the ground) need 1 foot of root-ball diameter for every 1 inch of trunk diameter. Ball sizes should always be large enough in diameter and depth to encompass enough of the fibrous and feeding root system to provide for the full recovery of the plant.

Mix compost or other organic soils/amendments with the soil where new planting will occur.  Thorough watering is essential when transplanting is completed.  This insures the transplant is properly hydrated and most importantly, settles the soil by removing air pockets.

Whether you’re transplanting or planting new plants, the weather couldn’t be more perfect.  Soil moisture is good and the temperatures are mild.  Remember: you have been telling yourself you were going to get that done.  Do not procrastinate; time will soon pass and winter is nearly over.

David Bates