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Notes From the Gardens: Seedlings and Divisions

I enjoy this time of year in the garden. Each day I find additional plants poking up from the soil, something new in bloom (today the redbuds are gorgeous) and it’s the most comfortable weather. 

The other day, before the rain, I was able to transplant some perennials from one part of the garden to the new pollinator garden. Gardening with perennials makes garden expansions and additions easier and cost effective. You want to tread carefully in an early spring garden: some plants are filling out beautifully and some, like my ‘Aralia Sun King’ Cordata and Rodgersia are barely breaking the surface. Luckily, in the sunny gardens, the soil has been warming and the plants are responding as expected. 

I transplanted some young Rattlesnake Master (above). I was thrilled at how well the plants reproduced last year. At first, I thought it was small weed grasses emerging, until I took a closer look and saw the tell-tale sign of a Rattlesnake plant: tiny ‘teeth’ along the leaf blade.

Next I transplanted some Nepeta (above). If you are new to transplanting plants, this is a great one to start with. It’s easy to grow, it doesn’t have particularly deep roots, making it easy to dig, and it’s resilient. 

Finally I moved some Lady’s Mantle (below) that had failed to thrive where it was planted. I am hoping this new location, with better soil and less root competition, suits it well.

Already thriving in the new pollinator garden are Rudbeckia MaximaEchinacea and Alliums.  

It’s too early to plant annuals, but our perennials, which are already thriving, don’t mind being moved (or new ones planted) this time of the year. I aim for a generous amount of soil around the roots when I am digging a plant to be moved, I opt for cooler days, and I make sure to water the transplanted material if rain is not guaranteed in short order.

By dividing perennials and relocating some new seedlings now, I am able to see what I will actually have room for when the retail garden nurseries open.  

~ Jennifer

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