Gardener Joe says it's time to add and divide

Ah, it will soon be spring! The birds will be chirping and the plants will be starting to bloom. Now would be the time to plant but also divide your plants.

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

There are so many plants to choose from. Or, put in native plants which in turn have 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 moving has enough roots. Know the plant.

For example, day lilies are easy. I like to use a garden fork. The tough fork-like spikes push into the soil and lifts the plant out.

Divide it and amend the soil with a little compost and then place the plant in its new location.

With any plants being moved, make sure they get 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, or plant something new.

I have moved rhodies with ease. I like to root prune the plant, place it on an old tarp and drag it to its new location.

A rule of thumb in transplanting a tree or shrub is to dig about a foot to a foot-and-a-half for each to get some real cool plants.

Spring is also the time to be watching out for plant sales and shows.

For your fruit trees, the Peninsula Fruit club had a grafting show and the Seattle Fruit Tree Society is having their’s soon.

Having a number of trees is great because a benefit is 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. in Bremerton.

Reader Question: Can I make more of my favorite shrub?

A. Why 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 it. If you have a greenhouse, that would be the best.

But if not, you can make a miniature cold frame, or try layering some branches from the mother plant. After a season or so, you have a new plant.

Get out there and have some fun! Happy gardening!

Reach Gardener Joe at besthands@aol.com.

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