Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Transplanting Shrubs

As I said earlier, transplanting shrubs is tedious, back-breaking work that requires a lot of patience and care. We're not sure if our transplants will live, but I think we did all we could tolerate doing to ensure their survival. Since the plants were so close together, we could not dig up an adequate sized root ball, so that meant digging up each root individually and effectively transplanting the shrub bare-root. It is early Spring, and there is no new growth on the plants, so they should still be dormant, and it just might work.

After transplanting the bushes, I searched the Internet for information on how to care for them during their transition. While searching, I found that we made three flaws in transplanting our shrubs that I think are worth mentioning here as a learning experience. First, we didn't keep the roots wet while digging them up. Although they were exposed to the sun for at most an hour, it was hot that day, and the exposure might have been enough to dry them out. Second, we didn't replant the boxwoods facing the same direction they were previously facing. I'm not sure how damaging this will be on them, but we decided against digging them back up and turning them, mostly because the back sides are bare and ugly. And finally, I fertilized them, and according to the Internet plant gurus, I should not have. Hopefully the mild 5-5-5 fertilizer won't be enough to burn their roots. There is nothing to be done about it now though. All we can do is wish them well and not grow too attached to them ...

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