Monday, 14 March 2011

Help! Transplanting the entire garden...

As you may have gathered, we are planning a housemove next month. This means we'll need to move all the fruit trees and bushes that were planted here, and that's going to be quite a task!

I have the beginnings of an edible hedge of crab apples, about a dozen assorted fruit trees (all around 2m height) plus an assorted array of currant and berry bushes. Should I prune these right back before all the buds start emerging? Spring is on its way and everything has started to come back to life.

There's still a nip in the air and we're still getting frost - that can last until mid-May here - but most of the above are in the ground and many are beginning to bud. This means we need to dig everything up and get it into large containers ready for moving; we need to do this as soon as possible, but how do I do it?

I'm thinking large trugs with handles would be alright for the trees, although they're going to be heavy to move, but do I plant them into virgin ground once we move or would I be better to leave them in their big tubs until the end of the year? I've been advised to lift a fair sized root ball and pack them into the containers with as much of the original soil as possible, then keep them protected from the frost. Any other advice would be much appreciated.

I also have rhubarb and strawberries to lift and move. The rhubarb is already quite a fair size in the sunniest corner of the garden, so I'm worried about damaging it by moving it this far on into the growing season. I might be best to leave it for as long as possible, in the hope that it's big enough to pick before we are away from here. Unfortunately, we're working to a very tight deadline, unless the landlord concerned decides to respond to our requests for an extension.

Any helpful suggestions or advice that anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated. Also, if anyone knows of anything lighter weight than soil that can be used to pack around the root balls of the fruit trees, I'd love to hear about it.

Please post comments either here or into my forum thread marked 'Moving Fruit Bushes & Trees'. You can find that HERE. You will need to register a username in order to reply, but it's free to join and, to my knowledge, there are no spammy emails associated with it. It's our own free 'Frugaldom' forum.

Many thanks, in advance, for any helpful hints, tips or suggestions. It's a fairly traumatic time for all concerned, as this move has come very unexpectedly. But I guess that's what happens when you rent from private landlords - they can want their houses back at anytime.


  1. Many thanks, have started digging and potting, saving as much of the root systems and original soil as possible. Still getting hard frost here some mornings, so I'm hoping that it will help delay the growth a little longer.


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