, Salem, MA


November 9, 2012

Start planning spring transporting

Q: I have many perennials in my garden that are spreading into each other. Is it too late to split them and replant in another area, or is it best to do that in the spring as soon as they start popping up? I would like to dig up the whole plant in some cases and replant in another area of my garden. I thought if I did it before the frost, they would have a better start next spring.

A: If you could forecast the weather, you could still plant, but it’s getting a bit late.

But wait — I’m sure you have other chores to do in the garden, and the spring transplants and divisions will do every bit as well, if not better, than fall transplants. One exception might be peonies, which seem to like a fall transplanting but then take several years to re-bloom.

So use this time to plan your transplanting for spring — and even mark places for the plants to go on next spring as soon as the ground thaws and is workable.

Have a nice weekend, and enjoy the leaf color right in your own neighborhood. The wild turkeys are back in my yard — they must know Thanksgiving is near, and they are seeking refuge!

Q: I bought mums for the planters in front of the house. Now can they go in the garden? They’re beginning to lose their leaves and color.

A: Yes — but plant soon! Make sure that the variety you chose is a perennial, or hardy type of, mum. The other type, called a “florist’s mum,” will probably not survive if planted outside. The types sold by garden centers are usually perennials and will survive outside. Mums are tender perennials — this means that they will not always survive the winter weather. But given a little protection, they will do rather well.

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