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Perfectly Imperfect Life..........

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

How to Transplant a Lilac

I had Lilacs all along my side and a portion of my back fence at one time. Most were suckers of Mom's that Dad had started for me from the farm. I LVE Lilacs ~ there blooms are sentimental because Mom would always bring a bouquet into the house to place on the kitchen table and that intoxicating fragrance just takes me back. Once when I was living in Miami she and Dad overnighted a bouquet of Lilacs to me. I couldn't stop crying. It was the best meaningful surprise I have ever gotten.

OK sorry for getting sidetracked.

Anyway, the Lilacs were happy for several years. Grew and bloomed beautifully.
Then one by one they dwindled away. A couple were taken out by Pit Bulls that chewed thru the fence, we have renters on all sides of us. I have nothing against renters, I used to be one. The ones behind us decided to build a fire pit by digging a shallow hole in the ground during one their parties. It ended up catching our fence on fire which took out a few more Lilacs.

To make a long story short, out of about 9 Lilacs I have 3 left,
They haven't been happy campers the last few years. I decided I was going to move them to a better place. The best time to move Lilacs is right after they are done blooming. Mine have just finished.

We used to have a small Dragonfly pond outside my bedroom window. It went by the wayside several years ago and became my compost pile. For the last 5 or so years I have been building up the soil by composting in the hole that was left.  This year it was finally filled and decomposed enough for plants. I wanted to mix in some potting soil in with the compost. I found this expanding soil block. It was fantastic! Light as a feather and on clearance. It re-hydrated and mixed in easily.

You can see some of it here.
It's a reddish brown color.

I cleaned out all the leaves from the floor of the gazebo and threw them on top, then mixed them in too. The soil looked so rich and it was full of worms!

Here's one of the Lilacs that needed to be moved. As you can see it was growing horizontally. Why I don't know.  There weren't any other plants blocking it from the Sun.

I got my shovel and inserted it as far as I could

all the way around it. You want to get as much of the root ball as possible - intact with the dirt still on it. 

There was one stubborn spot I kept working on.

I finally realized it had sent a large root between the fence boards!

I pulled as gently as I could, I got a good portion out before it snapped. :(

The other 2 gave me no problem at all.
Here are all 3 waiting to be planted in their new home.

Dig a hole twice as big as the size of the root ball to allow room for all the roots to spread out. Place the root ball into the hole being sure the trunk is the same ground level as it was before. 

Back fill the hole. Be sure to step all around the plant to be sure the roots and soil are married to prevent air pockets.

One down 2 to go!

Once your done planting, be sure to trim any dead wood off the Lilac. Trim any remaining spent blooms, we don't want the plant to spend all it's energy making those seeds. Save that energy for next years flowers!

When completely done, give them a good soak. I just put the hose attachment on shower and let the ground slowly soak the water in.

All three in their new home. So far so good.
It's been about a week and not a wilted leaf in sight :)

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