Sunday, January 08, 2006


The temps were in the 50s (F) today, and I spent most of the afternoon playing in my garden. I had a small amount of bulbs to get in the ground, something that should have happened months ago, but time and then early winter delayed it.

The ground is soft, and damp, and cold, perfect weather for planting and transplanting. I took the opportunity to divide lambs ear, daisies, sedum and coneflower. And I dug up muscari (grape hyacinth) that was planted years ago and are covered by yew and viburnum, something that I've intended on doing, but never got around to it.

I am a litttle sore and tired, but actually full of the kind of pleasure I remember as a child playing my sandbox under a big cedar tree in Waco. Today was mostly play.


Anonymous said...

It is ok to plant/transplant this late/earlier in the year?

Enjoy your blog.

Don said...

Anon -- Thanks for reading.

Yes, cool weather when the ground is not frozen is an excellent time to plant or transplant perennials, those plants that can survive the cold of the region where you live and return year after year.

I particularly like to transplant in late fall because it is gardening in refridgeration or air conditioning. This coolness, along with soft, damp earth, means that one can make mistakes (i.e., move slower in putting plants in and not have to water heavily).

Later in spring, one can do this a bit, but eventually the heat and drought of summer will catch up, and the plant will be subject to stress.

This year, it was too warm and dry in fall, and then early winter was exceptionally cold. So I took advantage of a uniquely warm day.

I also cover up the transplanted plants with mulch to give them added protection from the weather. I am sure we will have severe weather ahead between now and spring.

I would not plant tender plants that have just sprouted from seed at this point. All the plants I transplanted are established plants, and it was mostly root systems that I was dividing. The plants are in a dormant state, but they will continue root growth over the next few months, making them stronger when summer heat arrives