Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Best Time to Move Plants; Weekender Columnist Neil Fisher Is from Fisher's Nursery, North Rockhampton. You Can Chat with Neil on Radio 4ro's Gardening Hour after the 6am News on Tuesdays

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Best Time to Move Plants; Weekender Columnist Neil Fisher Is from Fisher's Nursery, North Rockhampton. You Can Chat with Neil on Radio 4ro's Gardening Hour after the 6am News on Tuesdays

Article excerpt

THIS time next week it will be winter and the cooler change in the weather means it is a good time for any transplanting that is required in the garden.

Winter is the best time to move any shrub or small trees that are not doing as well as they should in their present position. Ailing evergreens, especially azaleas, often grow a whole lot better after they have been transplanted from a spot where they have not been doing well. Fortunately, azaleas don't have deep root systems, but they do have a widespread surface root system.

Lift the plants by first using the shovel to dig a line around the drip-line of the plant, making as clean a cut in the ground as possible, then working the spade deeper and under the root structure. Once the root ball can be lifted, make a similar sized hole in the new position to take the plant. It will need to be a fraction wider than the root ball, so that plenty of good soil can be worked in, around and below the old roots. Soak liberally once the plant has been shifted to the new hole, but do not feed any fertiliser at this stage.

By the time we start getting warmer spring weather, the transplanted shrubs should be in a good position to start producing masses of new growth foliage and extending their root system. This would be the time to use a good organic fertiliser.

Winter gardening

When planning home gardens, it is always good to look around for winter-flowering shrubs, groundcovers and climbers for future garden colour features to brighten the drabbest time of the year for most gardens.

Just a patch of flowering annuals like Alyssum, Amaranthus, Begonia, Cosmos, Celosia, Carnations, Chrysanthemum, Dianthus, Gazania, Gomphrena, Impatiens, Marigold, Nasturtium, Petunia, Phlox, Portulaca, Salvia, Sunflower, Verbena and Zinnia can make a difference.

This is also a good time to look for new additions to the garden as well. …

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