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Moving a plant in the heat

By: Garden Gate staff
It’s not ideal. But sometimes you can’t avoid moving a plant in the middle of summer. However, this project doesn’t have to spell disaster (or crispy plants).

Moving a plant in the heat

moving a plant in the heat

It’s not ideal. But sometimes you can’t avoid moving a plant in the middle of summer. However, this project doesn’t have to spell disaster (or crispy plants). With some careful planning and planting, your plant may not even know it’s taken a road trip! Here are six tips for a smooth move:

  1. Water the plant the day before you move it — a well-hydrated plant tolerates a move better than a dry one.

  2. Dig the new hole before you dig up the plant you’re moving. It’s best to minimize the time your plant’s roots are out of the soil. Make the hole large enough for the existing root ball.

  3. Gather everything you need: a spade and a tarp or a wheelbarrow, and if you’re moving any distance, wet newspaper or a sheet of damp burlap. A friend might come in handy, too, if your plant is large. Make sure you move the plant during the coolest part of the day.

  4. Tie up the foliage to get it out of the way if the plant is very large. To dig, slice straight down with the shovel rather than at an angle toward the plant, and encircle it with these cuts. Go down one spade’s depth. Pry a bit at a time in several places so you don’t rip the roots.

  5. Drag the root ball onto your tarp or into your wheelbarrow. For a distance that will take more than a minute or two, cover the root ball with the wet burlap or newspaper and move quickly. Slide the root ball into the new hole and set the plant at the same level it was before. Fill in the hole with soil, pat it down, mulch and water.

  6. Keep the plant moist for several days. If your plant struggles, give it some shade, such as an umbrella or a screen. But if you haven’t disturbed the roots much, it may not even miss a beat!

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