Friday, February 7, 2020

Transplanting agarita

I love agaritas.  I love their red berries. I love their evergreen dark foliage, and I love how incredibly drought tolerant they are.  I know they are drought tolerant because we have a bunch in our woods behind the house, and I have never had to water them.  

But I wanted one in my front garden bed.  And it seemed silly to pay someone $35 when I had so many for free.  So last spring, I decided I would transplant one.  I spent hours digging it up.  Agaritas must like rocky soil, and mine always seem to grow under cedar trees, where their tap root intermingles with the thick deep roots of the tree. There was much use of the Texas toothpick.  Last year, I did not realize how very long the tap root was, and inadvertently cut the tap root off shorter than I would have liked.  I went ahead and planted it anyway, then babied it all summer. It never thrived, and slowly more and more of the plant appeared dead. We went away for one week, and I came back and it was toast.  Sigh.

So, kinda like childbirth, after the pain is gone, you forget how bad it is.  I decided I would try again this winter.  I read up a little more.  Winter is the best
time to transplant, and I was now aware of the tap root.  I spent hours digging a trench around the plant.  No worries, I recently learned how to add a gardening workout to my fitbit, so this counted as my daily exercise ;o)

On the right hand side, I once again inadvertently cut the tap root.  Waaah.  After hours of digging. But there was another tap root that I found to the left,  I dug... and dug... and dug, I got that sucker about a foot and a half long before it tore coming out of the ground.

I then placed it in a pot and carried it to the front, where I had already dug a deep hole.  I trenched a long path for the tap root, placed it in the hole, and then filled it with water. I read online that making a mud helps the dirt stick better to the roots. So I filled that hole with 4 gallons of water.

I have to admit, I am not extremely optimistic about this one's chances. But I will baby it until I know how it is going to go.  And if it doesn't make it,  I will very happily spend $35 to purchase a pre-potted one next year :)  It is all a learning experience, right?

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