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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Gardening to Distraction: Answering some mail

  • Thanks for writing - and calling - with your questions and comments. Here are a few recent emails:
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  • Thanks for writing - and calling - with your questions and comments. Here are a few recent emails:
    "…do you still see Leftie Louie the turtle?"
    I usually spot Louie several times in my garden during the week. A few weeks back, I met his girlfriend "Lona" so I may have little Louie's next spring.
    The last time I saw Louie, the Three-Toed Missouri Box Turtle without a left paw was stranded on a rock ledge in one of my small garden ponds.
    After putting him back in the garden, he ate half an apple before disappearing.
    "Quick question. Are there certain plants I should transplant in fall and others in spring?"
    In general, if you want to transplant in fall, make it early fall so plants have a chance to get roots established before frost sets in.
    Our first frost is usually around Halloween.
    Fall is definitely the best time to plant, and transplant spring bulbs as well as daylilies and most crowded spring and summer perennials.
    Wait until they have stopped blooming.
    Pick a cool, overcast day, preferably with a little rain. That will make digging easier and help plants settle into their new home quicker.
    Dig up a healthy ball of soil around roots.
    Divide the roots with a sharp spade or by separating bulbs from their overgrown clumps. I usually get help to dig my new destination holes before digging up, dividing and moving.
    Don't forget to give them a good drink after moving. I sometimes will sneak in a little diluted fertilizer, just to make sure they get a little boost to get started in their new home.
    I prefer to transplant trees in early spring so they have a longer adjustment period to settle in. Just because leaves have been dropped doesn't mean the tree is dead.
    Trees go dormant to try to survive extreme conditions, including transplanting.
    I have a number of native dogwood trees transplanted years ago just now showing up in their new garden spots. If I were to plant more, I would be tempted to put some sort of marker in the spot to be reminded there may be a tree popping up there any year now.
    Charlotte Ekker Wiggins shares her gardening tips at http://www.gardeningcharlotte.com. Copyright 2012 used with permission by The Rolla Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Contact Charlotte at 4charlottewiggins@gmail.com.
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