All Things Gardening forum: moving with lots of plants

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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Feb 15, 2017 11:44 PM CST
Due to complicated life circumstances there have been several times in my life where I had to move hundreds or thousands of miles away. Obviously with international boundaries there are extreme limits as to what plant material you can and cannot take. But even within national boundaries there are still lots of practical limits (e.g., Are you really going to dig up 30 rose bushes in the middle of winter and drive them from Montana to Florida? Or are you going to dig up annual vegetables in July to move them even 20 miles away?)

I'm looking at possibly moving again later this year. My philosophy is to grow as much as I can while I can and if I find myself moving again, I will leave in-place whatever is growing in the ground, give away some of the potted plants, and take a few others.

I'm curious how other people here handle this, have handled this, or will handle this.
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Feb 16, 2017 3:14 PM CST
Your approach is pretty much the same one I've taken in my last couple of moves. Although I DID dig up and move one Columbine that my DH had bought me. A lovely little blue dwarf. It survived the move and lived another 10 or 12 years in its new spot. And I still have two potted plants that I brought along on that first move. The only truly silly thing we did was drag along the lilac bush that was growing in a cut off 55 gallon drum. It's doing fine 17 years later, too. Heh, a little TOO fine; darn thing is HUGE! Hilarious!
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Feb 16, 2017 3:28 PM CST
I only plant in containers, so when we moved before from Southern Cali to Northern Cali, I gave away some and kept just the ones I can still fit in our car. Our movers will not take live plants or animals, so we gave away our fish tank too. We made two trips anyways, first to scout for an apartment, at that trip we got the plants I want to keep with us and parked them temporarily at my friend's place till we get our new apartment.

Unfortunately, I was not too aware of the temperature variance, East Bay is drier and hotter, height of summer, we came from coastal side where it is more pleasant, a lot of my plants got severely burnt by the heat. That was my first initiation to knowing temperature variances and micro climates.

On our next move from East Bay to San Joaquin County, we got a small U-haul truck so we can fit my small plant collection and the platform my hubby built for them.

I have learned that eventually adjustments will be made, new environment, new plants to discover you can grow better, so eventually, the old plants you have left behind will be replaced by something more appropriate for your new location. Win some, lose some. There will be good alternatives later on.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Feb 16, 2017 5:54 PM CST
I only moved 8.5 miles away but it was during December/January so I had an agreement with the buyer that I could return to dig up my plants. Been travelling back and forth now for over a year and I finally have relocated all the plants...well, I tell a lie. Some of the pots and still sitting in my daughter's back yard but I'll get to them eventually.

Looking back, I would say this. The plants were all perfect for the old yard but maybe will not be a good fit in the new place. I should have kept the ones with sentimental value, kept the 'mother' plants that I like to propagate, and let the rest go. Live and learn.
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Feb 16, 2017 7:45 PM CST
I've moved in the past and left everything... if I were to move from where I am now I think I would do the same, but maybe because my main focus is veggie gardening and I don't really have any ornamentals that would be all that painful to leave. I think I would look on it as an opportunity to start over and do a better job of it! (I'm talking about me, not you, Jai Smiling )
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Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Feb 17, 2017 8:17 AM CST
I moved from GA to TN, and a year later back to GA... New garden spots each time... So... Not just moving plants, but clearing brush, prepping new soil each time....

Still managed to move several buckeye bushes, camellia bushes, lousiana iris, daylilies, hellebores, and a lot of other stuff.... But... Plenty of stuff got left behind at both gardens.... Stuff that I really miss.

But... Yer right, easier to carry seeds and cuttings than fully grown shrubs and other stuff....

As far as trying to carry Montana adapted bushes down to Florida? I think not.... Really doubt any of that stuff would have a chance.... Climate is too different.
Name: Meri Taylor
SD (Zone 4b)
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mnmat
Feb 20, 2017 2:35 PM CST
I moved from MN in April of last year so my plants mostly were still buried in snow. I was able to chip away at the frozen dirt and get most of my favorite iris' tho. I used a pick ax!

Later, I emailed the new owners asking if they would share my favorite daylily. He happened to be in the process of digging them all up for a new garage and let me have 10 of the 17 varieties! I was so happy! But I won't know if I got my favorite until they bloom. I just got them in the ground last fall.
Meri
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
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RickM
Feb 20, 2017 2:49 PM CST
As I'm sure we can all identify, our yard has become a labor of love over the decade. Ok, so sometimes it's more labor than love, but still, it's our oasis from the world.

I've let it be known in the neighborhood that when we decide it's time to move, I'll be having a yard sale on any plants that I don't plan on taking with me. This, of course, would be subject to the intentions of the buyer. If they aren't gardening people, the sale is on. If they are, they'll need to specify what they want and don't want. I'd sooner dig it up myself for the neighbors than have someone come in an tear it all out to put in a jungle gym!
Name: Di
Suffolk Virginia (Zone 7b)
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ddriver8
Feb 20, 2017 8:34 PM CST
I moved plants when moved to this house 10 years ago. It was only 20 away but some tips may work for farther moves. I dug up some plants put them in plastic nursery pots and put them back in the ground in the pot. The daylilies I just put in plastic shopping bags and moved them. As part of the contract we included allowing us to start moving plants and planting as soon as we accepted an offer on our house.
The next time I move I think I will just give plants to friends and once I have a plan or established beds I will ask for pieces of the plants. Or maybe I will start a new hobby...lol
Dianna
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Feb 20, 2017 10:03 PM CST
ddriver8 said: Or maybe I will start a new hobby...lol


That's blasphemy. Don't you ever say that again.
Keep going!
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Feb 21, 2017 9:01 AM CST
Okay to start a new hobby in addition to gardening... just not instead of gardening! Hilarious!
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Name: Karen Adair
Washington (Zone 8a)
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KarenDA
Feb 24, 2017 10:53 PM CST
When I moved from Pittsburgh back to Florida I gave all,of my plants to somebody. When I moved from Florida to Washington I didn'the have plants so could not bring them. When I started house hunting I bought plants on sale that I thought would fit well in a garden. Of course I had to go to the lilac festival and buy lilacs that I kept in pots and also tulips from the tulip festival. Not sure what the bulbs will do this year though. They never got out of the pots into the ground last winter so overwinter ed in the garage and did not get the cold. I also think the ginger did not make it. I got a new hand to try to sprout.
Have a great day all!
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
Feb 25, 2017 12:48 PM CST

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When I moved 6 years ago, I brought over 600 potted plants from my small suburban garden, all 1 gallon on up. I moved them twice, first when we sold the house within 6 days, I moved them 10 miles to my Mom's house. We moved in with her and had to wait another 7 months before our purchase was approved (short sale). I lost track of how many truckloads we did of just the plants, at least 10.

Here's my post showing a portion of the pots in the new property spring of 2011and a few shots taken 2 years later. https://garden.org/blogs/entry...
(My blog chronicles the entire progress, you have to start at the earlier page to see the beginning.)

I do wish I brought more plants with me, the new owners were clueless and let so many plants die. But I am so happy my family indulged me and didn't make too many 'plant crazy lady' wise cracks! nodding I had a beautiful full garden the next spring. It made it all worthwhile.

Summer 2015
Thumb of 2017-02-25/Calif_Sue/65c748

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Name: kathy
Michigan
Zone 4b, near St. Clair MI
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katesflowers
Feb 25, 2017 7:03 PM CST
Jai, Cal Sue:
This is emotional roller coaster - to leave plants behind.
My first move in 1978, I took it all. The city of Detroit was burning and some of my plants were from my grandma. Within two years of our departure, the whole neighborhood had been burned to the ground - except for two 80 year old twin oak trees.
17 years later our next move from zone 5 to zone 4 in Michigan was slow and methodical, taking 18 months and allowed me to make thoughtful divisions, and heel in my precious cargo to a full plowed acre at our new property. From there I was free to ready the soil and thoughtfully place each perennial in its new home encircling the house. We've been here 23 years and as far as I'm concerned, you can plant me here, too, when my day comes. We're not moving again.
"Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing." Shakespeare
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Feb 25, 2017 7:29 PM CST
Kathy -- Group hug Group hug

Detroit... Flint... Crying
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