Gardener Joe offers advice on diving and adding plants

Ah Spring. The birds are chirping and the plants are starting to bloom.

Now would be the time to plant but also divide your plants.

Do you have plants that got too big, out grew there space?

How about creating a new bed. Reduce the amount of mowing and add color to your yard.

There are so many plants. You can also put in native plants which in turn are adapted to the climate but also produces food for the wildlife. When the ground is fairly dry and not to wet is the time to transplant.

Make sure the plant you try to move has enough roots. Know the plant. For example, daylily’s are easy. I like to use a garden fork. The tough fork-like spikes pushes into the soil and lifts the plant out.

Divide the plant and amend the soil with a little compost. Then plant in its new location. Make sure with any plants getting moved that it gets 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 younger years.

Instead of topping the plants or pruning them to try to keep them small, try planting something new. I have moved rhodies with ease. I like to root prune the plant and then use an old tarp to drag it to its new location.

A rule of thumb in transplanting a tree or shrub is always dig an inch in diameter for every foot to foot and a half foot of the root ball.

Spring is a good time to explore plant sales. Go to the Master Gardener plant sale where you can get some real cool plants. The sales usually happens on Mother’s Day weekend.

For fruit trees, the Peninsula Fruit Club had a grafting show. This is a great way to have many varieties in one tree. The benefits are you get the cross pollination as well as the fruit.

Check out the Peninsula Fruit Club by calling Jean Williams at 360-674-2368. Meetings are at the Bremerton Parks and Recreation building, 680 Lebo Blvd. in 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 the great way but if not you can make a miniature cold frame. Or you can try layering some branches from the mother plant. I have done that before. After a season or so you have a new plant.

Happy Gardening,Gardener Joe


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