The Helpful Gardener
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There you go; plant the volunteers. Doing things at Mother's speed is ALWAYS the best bet... :D

Scott

grandpasrose
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Volunteers are often your best bet anyway. They seem to be stronger plants! :D
VAL
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

jennymisek
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Location: zone 4 Central Wisconsin

I have never divided or transplanted any plants before. Always just put them in. When I go to transplant the volunteer plans, how much soil should I take around the roots? I don't want to dig or cut the roots. Do you know what I mean, root ball ish?

Same thing will apply for two flower beds by the front of my house. We need to raise the grade five inches in that bed, and there are already 3 year old plants in there. Is there an easy way to raise the grade up without having to take the plants out. I don't want to disturb them if I don't have too. On the other hand I don't want to just add an additional 5 inches of soil to the and cover parts of their stems, and have that turn out to be bad for the plants!

I appreciate your help!
Jenny

grandpasrose
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Hi Jenny!
When you are digging a plant to seperate it, you should try to disturb the roots as little as possible. The amount of space around the plant that you dig depends on the size of the plant. If you are unsure, always start further out than necessary, you can always move closer in.
If you have a nice ball of dirt with the roots and you haven't severed any roots, you should be okay. Then just gently pull the divisions of the plants apart, again breaking as few roots as possible.
Now just plant each new plant in its new home! You should add some bonemeal, compost, and aged manure to your hole before planting it. A drink of compost tea wouldn't hurt either. Water it well, and keep it moist (but not waterlogged) until it is established.

As far as your two front flower beds, it depends on what type of plants you have in the bed. If you can tell me what they are, I will have a better idea what you can do! :wink:
VAL
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

The Helpful Gardener
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I use a fork when digging vols; they have a way of letting you know just where the roots are and aren't. Pop them back in to their new home as soon as you dig them up, and they'll never know they left the ground...

Scott

jennymisek
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Location: zone 4 Central Wisconsin

Okay so it might not be the doom and gloom that I was anticipating! What is a vol? Do you mean like a pitch fork?

I will most likely need to remove the plants (around 15 per bed) set them aside while I add soil, compost etc and then I can plunk them back in...

When they are sitting out, can I just cover them with a tarp so they don't get a lot of sun? I am hoping I can get the whole thing done in an hour, but some will be out for a while I am guessing.

Things in the bed are virigated dogwood, dianthus, spirea, some other woody shrub that I don't remember what it is, nice oval leaves though on branches. A quite orderly shrub, doesn't get busy at all! A few miniature day lilies and that is about it. Do they sound sturdy enough to take the process?

grandpasrose
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Hi Jenny!!! You can't figure out Scott's version of Greek? :lol: I think he is referring to volunteers, but you never know!

When you remove the plants from your beds, make sure you put them in a shady spot, and do cover them with a tarp, but not clear plastic or they will burn. You should also give them a good drink of water while they are sitting out to prevent shock as much as you can.

Then you can add all your wonderful soil amendments to improve your soil like compost, manure, chopped leaves, etc.
Then replant them in the bed in the positioning that you want them. Remember to water the hole well before you put the plant into it, then gently push the soil in around the roots to remove any air pockets. Then water it again. A nice drink of compost tea certainly wouldn't hurt.

A couple of the plants that you listed wouldn't need to be removed if you like where they are placed. They will just grow through the added soil. These would be the variegated dogwood, and your spirea.

I would do this quite soon, so that the plants get a chance to re-establish before the cold hits.

Hope all this helps, and feel free to check in with any questions! :wink:
VAL
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

jennymisek
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Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 2:12 pm
Location: zone 4 Central Wisconsin

Thanks for the advice on how to move the plants!

I am expecting some mail order plants within a few weeks, when they start shipping again. When they arrive the festivities will begin!

So I can just add the extra soil and stuff around the dogwoods? I also want to give them a hair cut as they are getting out of control, and actually one is not doing so well. If I leave them in the ground during the move, can I trim them up after the bed is replanted?

I had to move one plant temporarily today and when I put the shovel in the ground I heard it cutting some roots. Should I go wider? Or is this just going to happen?

Also, am I better off using a pitch fork or a shovel with a point?

Thanks again!
Jenny

grandpasrose
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Hi Jenny! Yes, you can just add the soil right around the dogwoods, if that's where you want them. And once you've done all your organizing and planting, you can certainly give them a haircut and whip them into shape. Dogwoods are pretty forgiving plants and will take a lot before being stressed. The only thing I have ever noticed them really take a dislike to is extreme dry soil.

When you are digging plants out, remember to start far out, then you can always come in closer if you find that you have too much soil, and no plant. Err on the side of caution. It's likely that you will damage some roots while moving these plants, but if you stay as far out as you can, it should be minimal.

You could try using a pitch fork if you feel more comfortable with it. Personally, I would stick with the shovel, as it is more likely to hold the root ball of the plant and its soil together. A pitchfork may actually spread and disturb it.

The most important thing to remember about doing a new bed is to have fun!!!!! It's a fresh new start! Good luck and let us know how it turns out! :wink:
VAL
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

The Helpful Gardener
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I am often accused of inventing language, so for the liguistically inclined I will translate...

Vol: a volunteer plant, except in Tennesee where it denotes a rabid football/basketball fan...

fork: O.K., I should have been more specific here. As we were discussing digging I felt it was implied I was talking about a digging fork, but in Scottish it can also mean a manure fork (or hay fork), or the implement I use to shovel fat onto my gluteus maximus. But in this instance, it's a digging fork... :lol:

I use the fork when digging vols because it is much less likely to cut new roots; it does break the ball a little, but I repot or get them in the ground almost immediately, so that isn't a big deal, and the root damage is less in my mind, not more...

Scott

grandpasrose
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Not to worry Scott! We figured out what you meant - just poking a little fun! :lol:
Whichever implement used, fork or shovel has its pro's and con's and its in these little details where gardener's have their own little quirks. So Jenny - make your own quirk!!! :lol:
VAL
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

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RUDBECKIA PURP CONEFLOWER

I ususaly plant my seeds as soon as they are dry and spread them along the fence. it is usualy in sept in our zone 5a



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