Today I want to talk to you about the difference between planting and transplanting, or “digging”, planting or transplanting.
Now this is something that people get confused about a lot.
Digging season usually begins in late November, right around Thanksgiving. You want to dig up plants when they are dormant, after the leaves fall off, so you don’t damage the roots and send the plants into shock. Once that plant starts to leaf out in the spring, you can’t dig it up until the following November.
Here in Ohio the digging season can go from November until April or May depending on how cold the temperatures are. So if you want to dig a plant from one area and replant it in another area, that is called “digging” and you should do that when the plant is still dormant. Let me say it another way, “transplanting” from the ground to the ground is DIGGING!
You really need to know what you should be doing and what time of year you should be doing it.
Right now, before my plants break dormancy, I have to dig them up. The ones I want to sell this year that is. I’ve got about 10 days to get all of these plants dug. They need to be potted but I am not going to worry about that right now.
So what I’m going to do is dig this plant up, sever the roots, then put that plant right back into the hole it came from. Next, I’ll cover it with dirt and make sure there aren’t any air pockets around the roots. This is what we call “heeling in” the plant. I can go and dig up my whole grow bed of plants, then heel them in and that gives me at least a month before the plant breaks dormancy. I can then just pull the plant out of the ground and put it in a container to sell this spring without causing injury to the plant.
I also bought a couple hundred bare rooted plants and trees that I needed to heel in before they broke dormancy. All you do is bunch them together and cover them with a few inches of soil, making sure to fill all the gaps so there are no air pockets. That way the plant can remain outdoors and not weep out too soon.
So that’s what I have to say about digging up plants.
Enjoy this movie that Duston and I made: