You are planning relocation and can’t wait to start a new chapter of your life. But then, you realize that you might need to leave your precious plants behind. The truth is that moving your garden is more complicated than you think. But is it impossible? Luckily for plant lovers, it’s not. It’s not easy, but with good plan, organization and preparation, it can be done. So let’s make a plan and make it happen!
The first step is to make a plan for the future of your plants. So, think about where they will go in your new garden. And remember, you need to be aware of the conditions at your new location. And make sure to include all the factors, such as the soil type, orientation of your new garden, and typical exposure to wind or frost. If you are moving to east coast, for example, you need to be aware that your outdoor plants will receive a lot of sunlight. As you probably know, some plants will enjoy the warmth and light of a south-facing garden, while others prefer a more consistent, northerly side.
Be creative and draw a plan of your new garden! If you have an opportunity, go visit it before the moving day and take some photos. If not, use Google Earth in order to get an idea about your new property. If you are a proud owner of some larger or more specialist varieties, you might appreciate advice from an expert for horticulture and landscaping. You need to be aware of the fact that some plants are just too bulky or sensitive to move. If that is the case with some of your plants, for their sake you better consider leaving them to the new tenants or some friends that live close by.
Preparing your plants
Only once you have determined which plants will be coming with you, it’s time to start making some preparations. Generally, plants really don’t like moving, so you need to be gentle and caring. Most importantly, try to minimize the stress they will experience. Keep your plants protected, hydrated and safe from extreme temperatures. Do your best to make moving your garden as easy as possible.
If that is possible, it would be good to move plants while they are in their dormant state. Many species just won’t respond well to re-rooting at other times of the year. Of course if you don’t have other option, moving your garden whenever should be fine as well. Furthermore, trees and shrubs are much easier to move when they are younger.
Give them what they need
If possible, place outdoor plants in a dry, sheltered area prior to move. Additionally, it would be great to give climbing plants and other larger species a good prune ahead of time. This also depends on the variety and time of year. Cutting your plants back will definitely minimize the risk of damage, and make the relocation safer and easier for everyone. Most noteworthy, check all your potted plants and make sure the pots are in a good state for traveling, with no sign of any cracks.
Talk to your movers when moving your garden
It is very important to discuss any plants that you plan to take with you with your movers. This includes both indoor and outdoor plants. Some moving companies don’t handle plants, or don’t handle all types of plants. For others, moving plants is perfectly fine, but they need to be well informed in order to make all the necessary arrangements and allow enough space for them on the moving truck. Plants are fragile, and cannot be stacked along with the rest of the boxes. They require protection, support and clear space in order to arrive safe at their destination.
Uprooting your outdoor plants
If they are not moving with the rest of your things, established garden plants should be moved as close as possible to your moving day. If this is happening during hot weather, try to do digging in the evening. On the other hand, in colder weather, it’s best to do uprooting during the daytime.
- Make sure to water the soil the day before, so that the roots could have good access to moisture and that the ground is easy to dig.
- The trick is to dig as far around the plant as you can, to help keep the root structure compact.
- Then, cover the roots in soil and wrap them in a layer of sheets or a sack.
- You can also add some bubble wrap or insulation for extra protection and temperature regulation.
Hydration is a key
This is actually the most important rule of all when moving your garden. Keep your plants sufficiently watered during the preparations and moving process itself. Draining your potted plants a bit before the move will help to minimize the weight and avoid any messy accidents. But remember, your plants must not dry out completely. You can even use a water sprayer to keep them hydrated.
It’s packing time!
You can start by placing unpotted plants in lined boxes, with long stems or branches gently tied together. You can also use canes for additional support. And smaller houseplants you can put in lined, open boxes and pad them with paper for extra protection. You can place larger, stable pots inside plastic bags.
If your plants will be travelling inside the moving truck, they should be among the last items to be loaded onto the vehicle. Also, they should be first offloaded as soon as you reach your new home. For larger plants and heavy pots you should probably use trolleys and secure them carefully on the truck.
Home at last
Once arrive at your new home, place your plants in a dry, cool space out of direct sunlight. Then carefully unpack your indoor plants and water them properly. Once this essential adjustment is over, you can think of some landscaping ideas for your new garden.
If possible, get any trees or shrubs into the ground straight away. Just for a while, you can heel in your plants by soaking the roots in water. But this is a solution only for several hours. After that, you need to place them at their final position. Also, now is the time to unleash your imagination. Think outside the box and make a fresh new offbeat garden!
Now you just need to water your plants every day after until they are fully established and maybe apply some fertilizer and good mulch in the Spring. As you can see, moving your garden with care is not easy, but your plants will appreciate it!