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Landscaping can be an expensive endeavor. Before moving your outdoor plants to your new home, make sure you know what you're doing with these tips.

How to move your plants: Part II

Transporting an outdoor plant can seem scary, even if it's just across the yard. That's because digging up a plant could cause shock to its system if not done properly. However, with the right planning well in advance, you can minimize the potential for damage to the plant when pulling it out of the ground. In this second installment of moving plants, you'll learn how to safely prepare your outdoor plants for the big move. 

Preparing the plant

When you move and how you dig up the plant both can have a major effect on the survival rate of the plant. HGTV interviewed master gardener Paul James, who said that winter was a good time for digging up plants because growth all but stops, meaning the plants are less vulnerable to transportation damage.

As for digging up the plant, James recommended using the rule of 18. For that rule, you measure the width of the trunk or stalk of a plant about one foot up from the ground, and then multiply that number by 18. That will be the diameter of the root ball when you dig. As for depth of the root ball, it depends on the plant, but most of the concentration of a plant's roots is within 12 inches of the top of the soil, James told HGTV. Roots should be cut cleanly and carefully.

Once done, you should carefully lift out the plant, fill the trench hole halfway with compost or shredded leaves, and put the plant back in. This will make the roots grow in a more concentrated mass within the root ball when it's finally time to move. When you do move, take a shovel, sever any roots that grew past the compost layer and transport the root ball into a pot or even a burlap sack. If you are moving it into a sack, make sure that the bag is then placed in a safe, open container to prevent damage from a tightly packed car. 

Plant timeline

Digging up a plant and lining the hole with compost should be done months before moving and depending on the size of the plant or tree, potentially a year in advance. This will give the plant enough time to develop that greater concentration of roots. If you are moving in the summer, then completing this task in the winter would both allow the plant to develop properly and minimize the damage associated with chopping through its roots.

As with house plants, you should begin to check an outdoor plant for bugs and parasites about a month before moving day, especially if you are going to a different state. If there are any, then they should be dealt with before the move. In the last week, you should also be careful not to water them too much or too little, according to Atlas Van Lines. On the day of the move you should transfer the plants to their sacks or pots. Also, be sure that they are placed safely and securely, so that they do not spill or get crushed by furniture or other boxes.