Move it or lose it. That's the only time garden plants should be moved in the heat of summer. In those cases, where you must transplant, here are a few guidelines that will help insure they survive.
- The Day Before Make sure the plant is well hydrated by watering it well the day before.
- Water Again Before Digging Water again just before you begin digging, soaking the root ball so soil will stick to the roots. Move as large a clump of root soil as possible keeping the root ball intact during the move with a bag or tray.
- Do It When It's Cool Do your transplanting in the cool of the day. Evenings are best. The plant will have a cool night to help retain moisture. Mornings and overcast days are also better than the heat of the day.
- No Dry Roots Prevent a plants roots from drying by making sure the roots are not exposed to direct sun and completing the transplant as quickly as possible by preparing the planting hole before digging out the plant.
- The Planting Process Water the planting hole well before you place the transplant into it. Then fill the hole halfway with water, allowing the water to settle the soil around the roots before you finish filling the hole.
- The Final Touches Finish the transplant by lightly firming the soil around the transplant and watering well again. Then cover with 2 to 4 inches of organic mulch to conserve moisture and cool the soil.
- The Week After The week after the transplant is critical to the plants survival. If possible, shield it from direct sun and water once or twice a day to keep the soil consistently moist but not marshy.
It may seem like overkill, but by following these few steps, your chances of a successful summer transplanting will improve significantly.
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