Divide or add some plants | Gardener Joe

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 and outgrew their space? Create 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 is the time to transplant. Make sure the plant you try to move has enough roots. I like to use a garden fork.  The tough fork like spikes pushes into the soil and lifts the plant out. Divide it and amend the soil with a little compost and plant in its new location.

Make sure with any plants getting moved that it gets enough water for the first couple seasons.

Did a shrub or tree get too 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, maybe plant 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 in transplanting a  tree or shrub is always for each inch diameter of its bark or trunk, dig about a foot to a foot and a half for the root ball.

Spring is a good time to explore plant sales. Or go to the Master Gardener plant sale were you can get some real cool plants that master gardeners grow in their yards. The sale usually happens on Mother’s Day weekend.  Look out! The plants go fast.

For your fruit trees, the Peninsula Fruit club had a grafting show and I believe the Seattle Tree Fruit Society is having theirs soon. This is a great way to have so many varieties in one tree. The benefits are 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. The meetings are held at the Bremerton Parks and Recreation building at 680 Lebo Blvd. in Bremerton.

Q. 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. 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. After a season or so you have a new plant. That is so fun.

Gardener Joe

Joe Machcinski is owner of Pangea Garden-scapes. He can be reached at (360) 990-3035.


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