Ashley Seedling


New house, new gardener

I just bought my house in November and the previous owner was an avid gardener. Unfortunately our tastes don't match in terms of plant placement. When's the earliest that I can start moving plants? The garden is primarily boxwood bushes, ornamental grasses and a mix of who knows what else.

Views: 3363 Replies: 3 Date: 2012-02-10T07:31:34.000Z
Result Count: 3
  Soil Stomper


Re: New house, new gardener

Hello Ashley,

  We are both in the same house and I haven't gardened in a few years.  I would check w/ the local nursery on when is best to transplant.  If you haven't worked with ornamental grasses before, be careful.  The leaves on some types are like little razors if you run your hand in the wrong direction when working with them.  I hightly recommend some good gloves.





Re: New house, new gardener

Hi Ashley!  Congratulations on your new home!  Exciting!  You don't mention where you are located, and that may make some difference as to "when" or "how soon" you can begin moving things around. 

I don't have a lot of experience with either boxwood or ornamental grasses, as they are not my fav either.  I do have one mini boxwood so I can take cuttings at Christmas for some of those greens to mix with pines.  I worked for a landscaper at his nursery and tended some different grasses and the previous poster is right, some can be nasty, but not all!  They are nice if you live in cold weather areas to give shelter to birds and wildlife, and to feed them in dreary days in the winter.  Even so, some grasses just seem to take over and spread, and spread, so I'd likely choose to have them in only one area, several types for texture, with other wildflower types mixed in or around to draw the natural pollinators for the plants I DO want and birds to get rid of the bugs I DON'T want, without using chemicals.  That's my bent.

The other comment I have comes out of my experience with my "new home" about a decade ago.  I was OH SO ANXIOUS to begin gardening every where with everything once I had my own little/big piece of land.  Parts from a prior gardening PRO were great, but the interim owner of the property had focused on the house interior and weeds and other virulent plants were taking over when I started in Spring.  What I couldn't see, were all the wonders that wouldn't emerge until later spring or even into summer, and had I known what was there, or what the changes in sunlight/shade would be later, I would have saved myself a WHOLE LOT of work between then and now!!!  I didn't know, for instance, that my rototiller was cutting up little pieces of some weeds or plants that would make a NEW PLANT out of every tiny piece and plague me for YEARS!  Nor did I know that there were certain treasures lying dormant, that would forever after struggle and eventually die because I was digging around at the wrong time of year for them.  And, because I was too tired to do it all, in the first year, or the second, or the third, and had no money to spare, I got to see some treasures emerge that I really liked, right where they were, and had other messes that were overwhelming and discouraging because I'd inadvertantly replanted literally THOUSANDS of mint plants, and various invasive weeds, herbs and flowers among where I'd intended to grow peas and beans and tomatoes and.....

So, my suggestion, is choose one area that you really want to make "yours" right away, come what may, and work on that while at least this first year, you breathe deeply, taking in all that happens in a year at this wonderful place that's now yours.  Walk it at least once a week and journal the changes you see, the ideas you have, the sun's path, the color changes, and then start researching what those existing plants are, how to get rid of the ones you decide you don't want, and which ones to add, with all the right stuff ready for them in the ground when you put them in place.  You may save yourself a whole lot of time over the years to come, and a whole lot of energy and expense too.  I know I would have!

And.....if you know how to get rid of an old trumpet vine, and all it's volunteers for 25' or more, I'd LOVE to hear it!



  Garden Guru


Re: New house, new gardener

Thanks for the question Ashley, where are you located? You will want to wait until the ground thaws to start moving plants for two reasons:

You never want to rip roots out of the frozen ground. Once the ground thaws it will be easier to cut a manageable root ball out of the soften soil, slicing roots as opposed to tearing them. This is less strain on the plant crown and a clean cut leaves less room for bacterial/disease entry.

Also, if the plants are being relocated, it is beneficial to do so into soft, warm soil that will promote new growth of roots. Transplanting into cold soil will leave the plant in a state of unnatural dormancy that it might not be able to push past.

In the meantime you can dig the transplant holes and amend them so the holes are ready to go once the plants can be dug. I hope that helps. Good luck!



Result Count: 3