Ok, so I know some ppl are digging into pots and whatever for the Raleigh swap. Is it better to dig & pot early or to wait till just before the swap?
well, i always *think* i'm gonna get it done early, but normally end up digging a lot of mine shortly before the swap. it's probably better to do it well ahead fro the spring swap- esp since lots of stuff this time of yr is barely breaking dormancy & won't resent being moved as much now as opposed to when it's possibly getting hot. plus then you can see if it rots or dies & redig if need be. i think it's better to cut it closer for the fall swap. as long as you keep it watered, it should be fine either way. and anytime i swap through carla's site, it's normally a 'dig as we walk through the garden' type thing, so digging last minute can & does work. a lot of times with that, we're putting things in bags and flats. basically, do what works for you with your busy schedule. tam
Depends on the plant. Some things look a little shocky for a few days when you dig it (like bronze fennel). The plant is OK, just looks rough until it settles back in. Those things I try to pot up early then set them in a mostly shady area while they recover. Tuff stuff like iris or anything with a tuber like that I generally just dig a couple days ahead and wrap in newspaper or throw in a box. Something like spirea bush is dug a few days ahead, wrap it in a couple grocery store bags and give it a little drink. It's going to be unhappy, droppy leaves etc,... but it'll perk back up when it gets in the ground at its new home.
I water everything real well the day before so it's moist but not soggy for the trip.
One other thing I try to do is to separate my special trades from my general trade stuff and mark those containers with the names of people they're for. Just helps to not be hunting through multiple boxes/containers for the special items and I don't have to worry about maybe losing something. They stay outside the shelter or with my car so I don't get them confused. I tend to be scatter-brained so if I don't organize myself I'll leave things behind that I mean to take, or get there and be in a tizzy trying to find a special trade item.
I've seen people use everything from boxes to rubbermaid containers to Flat bottoms and milk type crates or their kids wagons to haul stuff in. Just think about what will make it easiest for you and have fun!
Yeah, what he said! Last year I wasn't on the ball and potted stuff up right before. A few things looked kind of wimpy so this year I'm trying to get it all in pots(especially for the special trades) so they have time to perk back up. I'm doing the finickiest and more valuable plants first, I may dig up some tough stuff at the last minute too. It gets really confusing with a bunch of pre-trades if you don't have them clearly marked. This year I am trying to be organized (not my strong suit) and label with who it goes to. Also I am trying to keep a clear list of what I am getting as well. Not that I am that picky but i don't want to accidentally get someone elses plants because we can't remember. See you there! -Ais.
I like Nancy's trick of labeling them with wooden clothes pins. They're 50 for $1 at Walmart, and they wouldn't last long enough to be a plant i.d. marker, but they're just right for marking special trades. I pot up everything I can now, so that it can spring growth spurt in the pot. Still, I'm sure I'll be potting up to swap day.
Heehee, I meant what SHE said...
the wagon is a real good idea if you have one. I have to remember that! It sounds like it's a little bit of a haul at this location. Even at the last place, it could be tedious hauling individual pots. I like the clothespin idea too! I wonder if we ought to designate a certain area for the special trades. I have 6 different people to find and I know some of you have more. If we all convened at a certain spot (maybe near the parking lot for less hauling)with our plants labelled for the person, it might go easier. Just a thought. I don't mind seeking everyone out and I know most of you now ;) -Ais.
i think down by the parking lot for special trades is a great idea. it's sunnier down there, but it makes so much more sense than hauling it up the hill & back down. i'm swapping with more than 6, and less back & forth is good.
i'll have to borrow the wagon trick- we have 2 little red wagons. 'course i have 4 sets of hands to help haul, so it makes for fairly short work. i, too found it a lot easier last time if i organized stuff ahead of time in clusters of trades. root's idea of boxes is very clever. i forgot she did that, but plan to steal it this time, too. i may use the clothespin trick a well... we'll see. thanks for the tricks, ladies! see you soon- tam