How to transport your plants when moving home

Everyone knows that moving home is not just about leaving behind bricks and mortar. A house or flat can be filled with happy and precious memories, and sometimes those that were not so good. But what about the garden? You might be wondering how to transport your plants when moving home. People often don’t think about the garden, or if they do, just assume that it must all be left behind. But that’s not always the case, so if there are plants that have special value, it might be possible to take them with you.

There might be all sorts of reasons to want to take something from your garden. It might have been a gift from a loved one, or been at the centre of special memories. It might even be just something you are incredibly proud of having grown. And while it might be possible to take it with you, there are some reasons it might not be a good idea.

Anything that is over five years old should probably be left in place. By this stage it will be well-established, adding not just to the difficulty of moving it, but also the risk. Moving a plant creates stress, and there is little point in moving something from the garden if it is killed in the process. You should also check the sales contract. Your garden will form part of this, and established planting should be left in place. Depending on what it is, you may need to renegotiate with your buyer. In both these cases, you might want to consider taking a cutting instead.

If, however, you really want to take the plant, bush, or tree then preparation is the key.

How to transport your plants when moving home

Make sure you plan your move well ahead. Late autumn is the ideal time to transport plants, as they will be in a dormant phase of their growth cycle. You should also plan to minimise the time it is being moved, removing it as late as possible before the move, and replanting as soon as possible.

Water around the plant the day before. This should be a heavy watering to make sure the soil is moist and soft. On the day of the move, loosely tie the branches up, then dig well around the plant, leave lots of space for the roots, so you can lift the whole root ball out intact.

For the move, use damp sacking to wrap the roots. This will keep them safe and help prevent them from drying out. The plant should be kept somewhere cool and dry while out, but the roots and soil should be checked frequently and watered if they are drying out.

At the other end, re-plant as soon as possible in a suitable location. The planting should be in a hole that has plenty of space for the roots to spread and establish. You also need to ensure that you replant to the right depth, putting it in a hole that is too deep or too shallow can be fatal for a plant.

Done well, there is no reason a suitable plant or tree can’t be part of your move. Just have a chat with your movers to discuss how to transport your plants when moving home into the move.

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