Moving/Want to take entire yard Help!


Old 08-23-01, 01:40 AM
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We received notice that we have to move from the land we have been living on since 1991. They are going to put a housing project here, which means they will totally clear this property. I need advice/help on deciding if I should take as many plants, etc. with. We are moving 40 miles away. I have azaleas, hydrageas, fiscas, gerber daisy, roses, red tips, small palms, gardenias, hollys, camelias, and much more. I hate to leave here just to be destroyed, yet moving them may destroy them also. I have worked with these plants for years and if digging up and replanting will work I will try. Are these going to be hard to remove and replant? What precautions should I take? What effect on plants should I expect? Help!!!!!! I want to save as many as possible.We only have a week left. Thank You!
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Old 08-23-01, 08:42 AM
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Hi Rider,

WOW! You'd better get busy! Sorry to hear you have to move--especially in such a hurry. Well, I'll add my 2 cents. I'm sure you'll get lots of suggestions. What zone are you in? I hope it's not REALLY hot! The best time to move plants/shrubs that bloom in the spring is in the fall. Plants that bloom in the fall should be moved in the spring. Some plants are best moved when dormant. So you'll be taking a chance on anything you move that is leafed out--which is probably everything. Your perennials shouldn't be a problem as long as you keep them watered. It's the larger plants/shrubs that you'll need to pay special attention to.

Gather seeds from anything that has gone to seed.

Some others will help you with spraying Roundup and killing grass for a new planting area. I'm not that up on it.

BUT work up a large area at your new place and add compost if you can. You probably won't have time to work up individual beds and put the plants exactly where you want. It takes time to kill the grass, add amendments, etc.

Move your plants to this large area, plant them and keep them watered until you can move them where you want. Call it a holding area. Some plants can be heeled in, which means, make sure the roots are covered with soil and kept damp. The plant doesn't necessarily need to be planted as deep as it should. This will keep it alive until you can plant it elsewhere.

For shrubs, etc., where you can't dig up all the roots, prune the top growth to allow for the root loss.

Keep in mind when moving some plants that the top growth looks stressed and sometimes dead, but many times the roots are still alive and it will recover. So don't give up on anything until next spring/summer.

Also keep in mind that the plants will be destroyed anyway, so not to feel bad if they don't make it. I know that's hard for plants you've nutured and come to love in all this time.

Roses, shrubs and trees are some of the plants that especially should be moved while dormant, so plant those as soon as possible and try and provide some kind of shade for them and KEEP them watered.

I expect everything will look real wilty for awhile.

I wish you the best of luck and that you had more time.

Old 08-23-01, 10:16 AM
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moving my yard

Thank you Gami for your response so quickly. I happen to live in SC near Savannah, GA and it is not only very very hot, but very humid, and we have not had much rain at all. All my plants, shrubs, trees, etc. have been doing really well this year. The holding area is a super idea, in fact I will plan to do that for sure. At least I will be able to see what makes and does not! Again, Thank you!

Old 08-23-01, 07:42 PM
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I agree with Gami. We have moved over 800 pots in zone 9 to zone 8. Just dug a HUGE antique rosebush in near-100 degree June weather, put it in a 30-gallon pot, kept it in mostly shade with lots of water and it's fine. It's even gone thru big grasshopper seige in its new home; we'll put it directly in ground in December. Decided we and it had nothing to lose to try. Anything you can't move, call in the neighbors, or better yet, your extension agent, who can put you in touch with Master Gardeners who love plants and know what best to do, plus give you good advice. Take everything you can. They'll get stressed but it's better than leaving for the bulldozer.

If space doesn't allow you to take all the big stuff with you, take cuttings and propagate. Propagate even the big stuff so that if the mama plant dies you'll have babies. Extension agent or gardening sites will tell you how. Take lots in the event that only a few live. If they'll root in water, slap a bunch of cuttings in jugs and set upright in plastic boxes as you move; you can make little greenhouses out of soda bottles and other stuff.

We were fortunate to find a man who does landscaping and he almost paid us to take his pots, everything from 1-gal to 30-gal Try that. Call nurseries and beg for pots. Knock on doors and beg--you might be surprised how many people have them stashed behind the garage Ask extension agent where you might find some free ones; they might even have some. Heck, try to get some free press and ask for help. Master Gardeners' orgs. or garden clubbers surely will help you. Use cut-off milk jugs and plastic ice cream buckets with drainage holes cut. You may have to buy some dirt. Use something that doesn't have a lot of chunks in it--you want the roots to be treated very gently; we used a lot of different kinds of bagged dirt, some with manure already mixed in. Potting soil is not good; too loose to hold much water.And don't fertilize anything for a long while--you don't want to ask it to grow while it's fighting to live. MAYBE fertililze if it's showing it's going top live and is losing color b/c of lack of nutrients in pot--but weak, half strength or less. Just keep shaded, roots covered well, lots of moisture, and trim back if yu need to. Next summer, you'll have many, if not all, of your friends back again. They make take a long while to come back, but it'll be worth your effort. I don't mind moving nearly half as much from the home we've had for over 30 years, because our plants are waiting for us at our new address.

Even if it's a sun-loving plant, keep in shaded during this transition. Remember, it's going to be recuperating--like a hospital ward, quiet and darkish.

We dug mostly in cool/cold weather, but have dug several in hot weather such as camellias, holly, many things, because it was better than leaving for someone non-caring and so far everything has survived though some of it looks like the dickens. It'll be okay with rest and gentle pruning; save the heavy pruning 'til you get it in the ground at your proper planting time--ask your new extension agent when this is (we're in zone 8-b and it's going to be November-February). Of course, if you maul its roots getting it out of the ground you'll have to prune heavier because you can't ask mangled and fewer roots to support lots of plant. Make sure leaves are left on the plant to process food for it.

Old 08-23-01, 09:40 PM
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You're welcome, Rider! Patton's suggestions are great. Let us know how everything fared, please!

Another thing, seaweed fertilizer is good for root growth. You could use that now since you're in a warm zone. You should be able to find that at a nursery. But like Patton said, don't fertilize with anything that promotes top growth.

This note is to anyone who thinks they will be moving in the near future. When you sell your house, landscaping usually goes with it. Specify an area in your yard for a "holding tank". Start moving whatever you want to take with you in that area. Make sure the realtors, buyers, etc., know that area is yours and have it in the contract. You can divide plants and move some there--leaving plenty for the new owners. Take cuttings of shrubs, etc. Plan ahead. It would be very expensive to have to start all over. The new owners can use your holding tank to put in a new flowerbed or veggie garden.

Old 08-24-01, 07:00 AM
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Forgot one thing: When you're going to dig, make sure the earth around the plant, and deep down, is damp. You might try a heavy watering the day before if you remember. The idea is have the roots clinging to its own earth, rather than be torn apart and exposed to air. Try to get a much bigger ball of dirt out of the ground than you will need; you can gently remove excess dirt with fingers.

And when you plant, gently water it in, then with hands compress the dampened dirt around the plant to squish out any air--air is deadly to roots. Then you may have to add a little compost or more dirt to top of plant. A good idea to finish off with compost or leaves--something to hold the dirt in and help keep evaporation down.

Again, best!
Old 08-24-01, 08:19 PM
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Smile Thank you all!

I would like to thank all of you for your help and ideas. I plan on moving some of them this Sunday, after I make a place to at least hold them until I can put them in permanent place. I did get lots of 30 gal pots that I found in the woods. Where they came from?? but I will use them! I will let you know how it goes! Again, THANK YOU ALL!
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