Monday, October 25, 2010

Transplanting Plus A Few

There is a lot to do in the yard, while the air is cool, in the fall. Much of what you do now will affect your success in the yard come spring time.

Before I go another week without mentioning it, I have to say the Sweet Tea Olives smell extra good this year. My office window is flanked by 2 fifteen foot Tea Olives, and they smell great! The Tea Olive always symbolizes fall (football, hunting, fishing, NASCAR chase, volleyball, softball and shrimping) to me and the cooler weather. I do not know if the Tea Olives smell better or after all that hot weather this summer, the cooler weather is just extra nice.

If you plan to move any trees or shrubs this winter, root pruning now will help you increase your chances of a successful transplant. The rule of thumb for trees is for every inch in diameter at breast height you want to dig a root ball that is twelve inches. Since you are moving a tree, sometimes you just have to dig a ball as large as you can without damaging other plants in the area or hardscape features, and you also have to consider physically how big of a ball can you move.

Once you determine where the ball is going to be, it is time to root prune. Since most of our plants are shallow rooted, all you need to do is go around the tree with a shovel and push the shovel straight into the ground. Do not pry or try to dig the tree out of the ground, just sever the roots. A drench with Superthrive and Root Accelerator will encourage new roots to grow in this new ‘ball’ area. Spray the leaves and trunk with Transfilm or Wilt Proof to slow down transpiration. An application of SeaHume will also encourage root growth. Be sure to water since you just severed the roots.

After 30 days the tree will be ready to move. If you have more time, you can continue to root prune and encourage the roots to grow in that new ‘ball’ area. When you are ready to move the plant, dig away from the area that you root pruned, leaving the tree in a moat. Always move the plant by lifting the roots, not the trunk of the tree. Slide the tree onto a tarp or piece of burlap, and move it to its new home. Be sure to plant the transplant at the same level that it was growing before or a little higher. Do not pile soil on top of the root ball.

Drench with Superthrive and Root Accelerator, apply some SeaHume, mulch with flower bed amendment, spray some Transfilm or Wilt Proof, water the leaves and ground, and stake if necessary. Remember to water throughout the winter. The winds and low humidity during the winter can dry out a newly transplanted tree quickly. Good Luck!

Well, I guess I did what I was trying to avoid doing, and I got too in depth about one topic. Judging from the calls on the radio show this past weekend, many of you are thinking about moving plants this fall. Maybe this article will save a plant or two.

Mosquitoes are terrible right now because of the recent rain and the extra high tides. Try treating an area (like your back yard) with Mosquito Beater or Mosquito Repelling Granules. They both work great and you do not have to spray yourself.

One of the guys I work with, Matt (General Manager Possum’s West), has a horse farm in Huger where the mosquitoes are the size of hummingbirds. He treats the area around his grill, his daughter’s swing set / play area, his picnic area, his patio, his front porch, and the area where he mixes his horse feed. Matt says he prefers the Mosquito Repelling Granules because the product is easy to spread and is lasting over three weeks (last month at three weeks we got several inches of rain and he had to reapply). Matt says there is a big difference in the mosquito population where he scatters this organic product and where he does not treat.