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When It Is Time To Move

By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchFJanuary 27, 2009
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The time will come for most of us, sooner or later, to move. How do you make that move and keep your plants happy? Unless you are one of the few people who can just walk away from all your plants and start over at your new home, you will be digging and preparing for the move up to one year before hand. Here is a short primer on how to get your garden ready to move - without going crazy.

Gardening picture

 What Do You Love?

You cannot, unless you are very fortunate, move everything with you so you need to pick what you love. Does that flower remind you of spring? Did that iris come from your grandmother? Are there memories tied to the bushes? Start with a list of what you love. Write them all down and think about the sizes they are now and what will it take to move them.

Thin The List

Start next by thinning the list to weed out the plants that will not live in your new home. Going from the tropics? Or are you moving from the cold north? Really think about the needs of the plants you are trying to move. Will they make the move with you, or is this going to be a death march for them?

Size

Okay--here goes the cruel truth. Some things you love and that will be able to live in your new home are just too big to move. Start thinking now if you need to take cuttings, gather seed, root cutting, or start to air layer the plants that are just too big to really make it. You can take some plants with you if you take the time to plan ahead and think about the size of the plants you want to take with you.

Thin It Again

Yep, go back over the list. If you are like me and trying to take more plants than can fit in a long trailer, you might need to take another hard look at the plants you have and what you really love. Do you need three of this? Can you live with a cutting of that? Can you just take seeds of this other? Take the time and really think about the space you are talking about and how much it will cost to move. Really looking at the hard facts of cost and space might change your mind about what you really want against what you need.

Potting Up

Pot each plant and label the plant in at least three places--once with a marker of some sort, once with a label in the pot, and lastly once on a master list you keep so you can find the name. You never know what will happen during the move. Maybe they will be in the rain, cold, heat, or wind and the labels, no matter how carefully given, will be blown or washed away. The master list will give you at least a starting place to work from when you get there and see what is left. Take your time and pot them up right - they might be in that pot for a while.

Settling In

Do not rush to plant your plants in the new garden. Take the time to watch the land and how it works before you start planting. Take your time and think about each plant you have brought with you and give them the best hope. There would be nothing more depressing than making it to the new home and losing that cherished plant you cared for and took so long to get there. Take your time and get things right so you can enjoy your old friends in your new home.

 

Image is of movers in 1887 France, it is now in public domain.


  About Mitch Fitzgerald  
Mitch FitzgeraldI am a pentecostal preacher, gardener,husband, and a father. I love natives, daylilies, iris, and roses. I love teaching others, be they children or adults, about the garden and plants.

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Discussion about this article:
SubjectTopic StarterRepliesViewsLast Post
Good words of wisdom and experience. Sheila_FW 14 64 May 23, 2010 6:57 PM
Lost my foxglove :( joeyramone 3 9 Jun 10, 2009 9:09 PM
Food for Thought Sunflower1888 0 5 Feb 3, 2009 12:43 AM
Great article, Mitch Aunt_A 1 10 Jan 28, 2009 7:10 PM
So how are the plants you took doing? frostweed 16 49 Jan 27, 2009 9:53 PM
You're making headlines, Mitch! pirl 1 38 Jan 27, 2009 8:30 PM
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