Friday, April 13, 2012







i don't know about you but we live on a budget. and as much as i would love to spend every penny of my weekly paycheck on plants, i have to try hard to refrain at this time of year.

to stick with our budget i have made a commitment to fill my garden this season with as many plants as possible from other people's gardens.

most gardens are in need of a little thinning of one plant or another (i know i am always looking to give away black eyed susans) so it's usually not hard to find someone looking to share a piece of their garden. heck i have even seen transplants on freecycle and craigs list.

just like thrifting, i love the thrill of plant shopping in other people's gardens. you never know what you will find. sometimes there are just the basics and sometimes you can find the score of your life.

i also like having a garden with a story. little pieces from here and there.

today i went to my mom's to dig up a few simple shade lovers. a french variety of forget-me-not, a ground covering strawberry begonia and a few miniature hostas soon filled my basket. and off i went to give them a new home and my garden another piece to it's story

Some tips when digging up and transplanting:

:: transplant on an overcast day or during the cooler morning or evening hours.

:: be prepared. bring your own tools as well as baskets and containers to hold your transplants. boxes, baskets, crates, trays and buckets work great for transporting.

:: dig deep. dig out far enough from the plant to get all the roots without breaking or damaging them. and include as much soil as possible around the root system to keep the plant from drying out.

:: water your plants lightly as soon as you dig them up. plants can go into a bit of shock when their roots are disturbed. give them a little boost with a drink of water as soon as they are dug up.

:: transplant your plants as soon as you get home. have an idea of where you want your plants to go and if possible have the holes already dug. if not, no biggie but don't leave them to sit out too long or even worse forget about them until the next day.

:: don't bite off more than you can chew. translated- don't dig up more than you can plant. i have made the mistake many a time of digging up way more plants than i realistically had time to transplant that day.

:: water everything as soon as it is planted and then every day for at least a week. the biggest mistake you can make is under watering your transplants.


  1. this is an excellent list of transplanting tips. i have practically memorized these from all of the years at the nursery and gardening professionally. two more i will add, okay three :)

    :: try to transplant as early in the season as possible, as there will likely be less stress on dormant roots and also less tender shoots, leaves buds etc to damage in moving to and fro, if winters are mild any time from november to february are ideal. otherwise as soon as the ground thaws.

    :: dig and divide summer bloomers and fall bloomers in late winter/spring, and try to do your spring bloomers in fall. extra energy that might otherwise go into spring flowering will be subverted to establishing roots.

    :: a little liquid bonemeal (organic) watered in after transplanting will assist rooting and then water well for several weeks to establish.

    i too love sharing plants. i wish you were closer and you could see the clumps i will be dividing these next two weeks! some are way overdue.

  2. amen sister! i even have plans of filling my new front yard garden with plants moved from my overgrown backyard garden. i did a lot of transplanting from other people's gardens last year and it is such a blessing!

    one tip i would add to bringing your own tools and containers is: LABEL EVERYTHING. you think you'll remember what all those plants are when you get home, but you won't (or, i didn't!). bring some tape and a sharpie to label the pots or bags that you put your plants in.

  3. Great tip ! Thanks for sharing!

  4. julia, brilliant one...when i moved to our farm home, i had a weekend party over two days to dig and pot up what we were bringing, and many things didn't get labels in the potting process...resulting in waiting until spring to see what everything was as the foliage emerged! by them many gardens were dug and plants healed in to "wait and see" and then shift around. it was awkward. i'm sure others can add to this list. i might bookmark it!