So you've decided to finally start that garden you've been dreaming about for years. You've picked out some healthy seedlings and now you're ready to get your hands dirty and start planting.
A trowel is a basic but essential tool for any gardener. With the right technique and a quality trowel in hand, you'll be transplanting your seedlings in no time and well on your way to a lush, thriving garden. So grab your trowel and let's get planting!
The Spade: A Versatile Tool for Transplanting
The spade is one of the most useful tools for transplanting in your garden. This versatile tool allows you to dig holes for moving plants from one spot to another. Look for a spade with a pointed blade and a handle that’s comfortable for you to grip.
To transplant with a spade:
Later the plant thoroughly the day before transplanting. This will make the root ball more solid and easier to move.
Dig a hole in the new location that’s at least as deep and wide as the root ball of your plant. A bigger hole is even better, giving the roots plenty of room to spread out.
Slide the spade down into the soil around the plant at an angle to get under the roots. Gently work the spade under the entire root ball.
Carefully lift out the root ball. Have someone help you lift larger plants. Make sure to get the spade under the entire root ball so you move the plant with its roots intact.
Place the root ball in the new hole and fill in the sides with the soil you removed. Water thoroughly after transplanting.
Mulch around the base of the plant to help the soil retain moisture. And fertilize the plant a week or two after transplanting to encourage new healthy growth.
With the right technique and a sturdy spade, you’ll be able to successfully transplant shrubs, perennials, trees and more in your garden. Your plants will thrive in their new spot before you know it!
Using a Trowel for Precision Transplanting
A trowel is a gardener’s best friend when it comes to transplanting. This handy tool allows you to dig into the soil and lift out plants with their root balls intact, so you can move them to a new spot without damage.
Choosing a Trowel
For transplanting, a trowel with a narrow blade, about 3 to 4 inches wide, works well. Look for one with a pointed tip to help slice into the soil. Stainless steel or aluminum blades hold an edge better than plastic. A trowel with depth markings on the blade can also help you gage how deep you’re digging.
Preparing the Plant
Water the plant thoroughly the day before transplanting so the root ball holds together better. Once you’re ready to transplant, dig a circle about 6 to 8 inches out from the base of the plant. Push the trowel down and under the root ball to loosen the plant from surrounding soil.
Digging the Hole
Use your trowel to dig a hole in the new location that is slightly larger than the root ball. Add some compost or fertilizer to the bottom of the hole. Carefully place the plant in the hole and backfill the soil around it, tamping it down gently with your hands as you go to remove air pockets.
Caring for the Transplant
Water the transplant thoroughly after planting. Place a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to help the soil retain moisture. Monitor the plant in the coming weeks and water regularly, especially in hot or dry weather. With the right aftercare, your transplanted plant should thrive in its new home!
Transplanting Tools for Every Garden Situation
When it comes time to transplant your garden plants, the tools you use can make a big difference in how successful the process is. The three essential tools for transplanting are:
A trowel is a small hand shovel with a scoop-shaped blade and a handle. It's perfect for digging holes to place your transplants in. Look for a sturdy trowel with a blade made of stainless steel or aluminum. A trowel allows you to scoop out the soil and also pat it down firmly around the base of the transplant once planted.
A hand cultivator is used to loosen the soil before planting and also to weed around transplants. It has several prongs that you push into the soil to aerate and break up compacted dirt. For transplants, use a cultivator to loosen the soil in a circle around where you will place the plant. This allows for better root growth into the surrounding soil.
After transplanting, thoroughly water the base of each plant to help the roots establish themselves in their new location. A watering can with a long spout allows you to directly water the soil without disturbing the plant itself. Water transplants regularly for the first few weeks until they appear established and are showing new healthy growth.
Using the proper tools for transplanting, along with care and patience, will give your garden plants the best start in their new home. Be sure to choose a spot suitable for each plant's specific light and water needs. With the right location and tools, you'll have thriving transplants in no time!