Time to divide those plants and add more

Ahhhhh Spring. The birds are chirping and the plants are starting to bloom. Now would be the time to plant.  But it’s also time to divide your plants.

Do you have plants that got too big and out grew their space? How about creating a new bed. That will reduce the amount of mowing and add color to your yard.

There are so many plants to choose from. You can also plant native plants which, in turn, are adapted to the climate and produce food for wildlife.

The time to transplant is when the ground is fairly dry. Make sure the plant you are trying to move has enough roots. Know the plant. An example is daylily’s which are easy to transplant.

I like to use a garden fork. The tough fork-like spikes push into the soil and lift the plant out. Divide it and amend the soil in the new location with a little compost.

Make sure any plants getting moved have enough water for the first couple seasons or until established.

Did a shrub or tree get to big? Many of them can be moved in their first few years. Instead of topping the plants or pruning them to keep them small, try planting something new.

I have moved rhodies with ease. I like to root prune the plant then use an old tarp to drag it to its new location. A rule of thumb for transplanting a tree or shrub is to always dig down a foot for each inch of diameter of its bark or trunk.

Spring is a good time to explore plant sales. Try a master gardener plant sale in your area where you can get some real cool plants that master gardeners grow in their yards. The sale usually happens on Mother’s Day weekend. But look out! The plants go fast.

For your fruit trees, the Peninsula Fruit Club has a grafting show and the Seattle tree fruit society will having their’s soon. This is a great way get many varieties in one tree. You get the cross pollination as well as the fruit.

Come and check out the Peninsula Fruit Club. Contact Jean Williams at 360-674-2368. Meetings are held at the Bremerton Parks and Recreation building at 680 Lebo Blvd., Bremerton.

Reader question:

Q. Can I make more of my favorite shrub?

A. Yes! So many deciduous shrubs can make good candidates. Take a cutting of new wood and insert it into a good medium of soil keep moist. I like to scratch the end and put a little root hormone on.

If you have a greenhouse that would be a great way to start the cuttings. But if not, you can make a miniature cold frame or you can try layering some branches from the mother plant to keep the new cutting warmer. After a season or so you’ll have a new plant.


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