Posts Tagged ‘Transplanting’

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Transplanting in Autumn

October 2, 2014

Autumn is the best time to divide and plant vegetation, and to transplant. There are several reasons for moving a plant from one location to another:

  1. The plant has outgrown the space (poor planning—been there!).
  2. The plant is “struggling” to grow in the wrong exposure (been there too—didn’t read the tag or I simply wanted it where “I” wanted it!)
  3. The soil drainage or soil type is all wrong for the plant’s root system.
  4. Sometimes the plant just doesn’t look good with its neighbors. (Hmm, that reminds me of decorating a room!)

Why transplant in autumn? Here are the benefits:

  1. Cooler weather reduces stress. Reduced stress helps the plant’s roots become well-established.
  2. The ground is still warm from the summer heat. Unlike the cool spring ground, warmer ground encourages more root growth and more time for plants to establish a sufficient root system.
  3. Planting in autumn is also about the gardener having more time. Spring is usually a mad rush for gardeners to get the grounds cleaned up, babysit seeds or seedlings, prepare the soil, and plant.

What did I transplant?

Below are six “Evergold” Carex in my front yard. One year ago, each Evergold was the same size when planted twelve inches apart as instructed on the plant tag. As you can see, the three on the right are not doing well. Since all six Evergolds are receiving the same Eastern exposure and water, I suspect it is something in the soil.

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To save my three struggling Evergolds, I transplanted them under a covered area with southern exposure. Now, I just have to wait for spring to see how they are going to react.

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The Basics: Repotting into a Larger Container

April 4, 2012

Supplies:  Existing potted plant, larger container, potting mix, broken potsherds or packing peanuts, trowel, blunt knife or hand weeder, snips, water

1.  Select a new or repurposed container one – two sizes larger than the existing one.

2.  Tilt the container and carefully pull the plant out of the pot by grasping the trunk just above the top soil. If the plant doesn’t move, slide a blunt knife down the sides to loosen the roots and try again. When necessary, as seen in photo to the left, break the pot by likely tapping it with a hammer. Be sure to wear protective glasses. Slice plastic containers open with a knife.

Tip:  Repot when the plant’s soil is on the dry side (slightly moist). The plant will be lighter and easier to lift out of its container. Never repot saturated plants, as the roots will separate from the soil.

3.  Carefully loosen the roots with a blunt knife or hand weeder. Trim off broken roots and cut back extra long roots by a third.

4.  Cover the drainage hole with broken potsherds or packing peanuts.

Tip:  1) If reusing an old container, scrub the inside with detergent or four parts water to one-part bleach to kill harmful organisms. Rinse well. 2) If your container doesn’t have a hole, drill one hole in small to medium containers and two holes for very large pots.

5.  Place fresh potting mix about a third up in the new container. Check the height by gently positioning the plant on the mix. The crown of the plant should be one to two inches below the top of the pot. This will allow space for watering and eliminate overflow.

Tip:  To absorb excess water and gradually release moisture to the roots use moisture control potting mix.

6.  Once you have established the proper height, center the plant spreading out the roots.

7.  Add fresh potting mix around the sides, gently working it down with a trowel or hand weeder making sure there are no air pockets. If your container is tall, use a thin stick or heavy-duty non-bendable wire. Be careful not to compact the mix.

8.  Set container on risers and water well. Keep out of hot summer sun for at least a week until the plant(s) can recoup from transplant shock.

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