You are about to move and you already have a plan on packing your things. What about things that are not… things? It’s possible to wrap up and move garden plants with you, though you need to know which, how, where and when. If you only have a few household plants your job will be a lot easier. Moving your garden, however, will require that you plan(t) well ahead. To do that, ask yourself the following questions:
- Which plants you can relocate?
- What to do with plants you can’t take with you?
- When is the best time to move garden plants?
- How to uproot and wrap your plants?
- What’s important to do during the move?
- How to re-plant and help your plants adjust?
Take it or leave it
If you own a garden, you need to know which plants you can take with you before your old home is up for sale. Well-kept gardens add value to the estate so decide which greenies you need more. Make sure your estate agent knows that as well before your home in on the market. According to the law, the garden will stay as it was when the buyer made an offer. Buyers will feel rightfully scammed if they pay extra for a lovely garden and find an empty yard. And that is not all. Law governs transboundary relocation of plants as well.
Before you start preparing your garden plants for the move, check if they are allowed over the border. You are free to bring indoor household plants into California, for example, as long as they are pest-free and you’ll keep them inside. However, outdoor plants have limited movement. You will get valuable additional information, including local office contact details, from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).
The ones left behind
If you have potted plants, indoor or outdoor, that you can’t bring, first check if there’s anyone who will take them. You can make a giveaway or yard sale. In case you rented your old home, must leave an empty yard behind and can’t take any plants with you, consider donating them to schools or kindergartens. If it’s feasible, sometimes it may be better to leave an old plant in your garden and just take cuttings with you. It means to cut off a part of the parent plant and stimulate it to grow roots. You will be able to relocate these babies a lot easier.
The best time to move garden plants or Don’t wake me up before you go, go
It is not always possible to pick the perfect season for moving when garden plants are considered. If you do have the luxury, note that there are months you should favor. It is always better to move garden plants during their dormant season. It differs for various plants but a dormant season for most plants drops between late October and March. Most people relocate to a warmer climate so if you’re one of them, check if your plants prefer it, too. Factors like temperature, humidity, and winds will affect your plants more than you assume. Proper research will save you a lot of effort later when it comes to the relocation of plants. Consider checking the soil type at your new home, too. Certain plants need very specific soil conditions and they might not survive for long if the soil is not suitable.
Prep and pack
If you plan to move your garden plants from one home to another, look for adequate containers you can easily move. To wrap up the roots and plants safely, you’ll need moving and packing supplies that are cheap enough but of good quality. You will save both money and effort if you use burlap sacks instead of pots and buckets. The easiest way to move bigger plants is to wrap the root ball in burlap. Even before you start to dig your plants, make sure you set up a short-term nursery area. If you move garden plants in the middle of summer, this area should be shaded, cool and airy. In case there is no natural shade, you can set up a simple, temporary, and inexpensive lath house.
Make sure that before you start digging your plants you thoroughly water each plant. You mustn’t allow the roots to dry out. Cut a ring around the plant by pushing a sharp shovel straight down, cutting through the roots just below the drip line. It is very important that you cut the roots cleanly. Try not to tear them when you pull the plant out. Evenly place as many shovels as you have into the drip line cut. Use those shovels in lever motion to lift the plant slightly from the ground by applying uniform pressure.
Don’t remove any soil from the root ball and wrap it in burlap. Now, you are ready to move garden plants to their new home.
During the move
Once you have wrapped your plants’ roots or potted them, allow them to dry out a bit. It will make the pots a little lighter. Buffer the pots with enough padding and protect the foliage with bubble wrap. You can use cloth or straw, too. If you’re packing a moving van on your own, ensure that the pots can’t tip over. It is possible that your move will last for a few days so your plants will need to survive in a van. Semi-darkness will not kill your plants over the course of a few days if you open the back of the van, allow sunlight and fresh air inside and water the plants regularly. Moving is a source of distress that can kill the plant and every effort you put into smooth relocation of your leafy buddies is most welcome.
How to re-plant and help your plants adjust?
Just as you did before you dug up your plants, you need to thoroughly water the holes in your new garden as well before you place the plants in. Once you top off the root with some soil make sure it is solid enough but not too dense. Cool off the newly placed plant with a little shower and keep it out of direct sunlight for a few days at least. Your plants will appreciate it greatly.