Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Transplanting Perennials and Growing Friendships

Spring brings us so many lovely gifts, like blossoms and perennial starts!  My front flower bed is a friendship garden. Every flower there is the result of friends giving me starts from their perennial flower gardens. The bees can't get enough of the purple salvia and bachelor buttons given to me from my sweet friend, Glenda. 

I am a huge fan of the delicate sprays of blue flax plants she gave me that loose their vibrant petals each afternoon and wake up the next morning with full bouquets of tiny blue posies.

It looks like a wedding when they are all in bloom!  I can't forget the white yarrow that has soft fern-like leaves and is known for its medicinal qualities in fighting colds and flues.
Glenda gave me starts of all those, for which I've been enjoying for a few years now.  Another friend, Becky, gave me a few starts of one of my favorite desert plants, chicks-n-hens succulents.

However, I think I need to move them because they are getting too much water where they are at.

Friends have shared their perennial starts with me and now it's my turn to share my perennial starts with others.  Spring is the best time for transplanting young perennial starts. This morning, I invited one of my friends over to get some flower starts for her new house.  She happily agreed and we got to work digging!  We lined an old nursery tray with newspaper, then filled it with some starts. 
We gently dug around the young plants and lifted them onto sheets of newspaper. 
Then we put them in plastic grocery bags so she could transport them home.

"Friends are the flowers in the garden of life."

How To Transplant New Perennial Starts

  1. If you can help it, pick an overcast day to transplant. It seems to help with shock. You can also choose morning or evening hours to work in.
  2. Prepare a place for the transplants. That may mean you need to weed, remove rocks, or amend the soil. You want the young starts to spend as little time as possible out of the ground. 
  3. The night before, soak the soil all around the starts. This will help the soil stick together around the delicate roots when you go to dig them up. 
  4. Choose small, young plants to transplant. You may be tempted to dig up the biggest starts, but  it's the young plants that do better when transplanted. 
  5. Slip a small shovel down around all sides of the start you are moving, allowing plenty of soil is abaround the roots.  I like to use a small shovel (the blade end out the size of a hand trowel blade) because it fits easily between existing plants.
  6. Using the shovel or trowel for support, lift the start out of the ground and place on a few sheets of newspaper to move to the next location.  If you are transporting your new plants a distance, consider bringing a box lined with newspapers for easier transport.  Or, do what we did today and put the starts directly on a sheet of newspaper and put it in a plastic grocery bag. 
  7. After you plant your starts into their new spots, water them in well and give them a few days to perk up. Fill in any holes left from the transplanting process.
Enjoy your garden!

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