Plant Moving Day

| 10/9/2015 10:09:00 AM

Andrew WeidmanIt happens to every gardener sooner or later; usually sooner. You realize you’ve planted something in the wrong spot. Maybe it refuses to thrive. Maybe it’s thriving too well, outgrowing its spot. Maybe you just don’t like where you planted it. It happens.

So what do you do? You move it.

I had two currant bushes and a jostaberry in a bad location — a northern exposure in deep shade. In Zone 6, currants appreciate some shade, but not that much. They bore fruit this year, but not like they could have; the amounts were low, and poorly colored. They had to move.

Timing is important when you move a perennial, bush or tree. Spring seems like the best time; after all, everything is starting to grow, right? Not when you consider that the roots take a major hit when you dig them up. You want the roots to grow, not the top. That’s why fall is better than spring. Early winter also works well, when the plant is fully dormant, but I like fall planting better. Roots continue growing until the soil temperatures drop to about 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

I used the following procedure for moving my currants and jostaberry to the fence line beside our mini orchard. The location provides far better sun exposure, along with good airflow, and it helps consolidate some of our fruit plantings.

Wait until mid fall, when the fall rains have begun, and top growth has slowed to a stop, but soil temperatures are still warm.

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