moving to new home

ford8nn(z4IL)December 5, 2012

We are going to be moving from our farm home back to where our kids live as soon/when this place sells. Anyhow, as things now stand, there are no suitable houses on the market and we may have an interim period before going to the new house. My question is, I'm going to take a bunch of Hostas with me and I have a choice of parking them under walnut trees in the shade or out in the sun. I had planned on taking them in plastic bags or would pots be better? Any thougts on the best plan?

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Gosh-so many variables I am not sure I want to touch on giving answers to your questions. I will tell you what I did in moving quite a few hostas from northern Arkansas to northern Illinois in August.

Obviously they were all fully leafed out. I dug them the day before and left dirt on the roots and stuck them in pots to keep them from rolling around and destroying the petiole. On my larger ones like my Sum & Substance, I used the method of moving ken keeps bringing up of using duct tape to gather and strengthen the petioles. I had a pick-up truck and a 14' fishing boat. The pickup had a soft cover over the bed and the boat was uncovered. The ones in the truck were not covered other than the tonneau. The larger ones went into the boat in clear plastic bags with holes cut into them to let it breath. The bag was to protect them from the 70 mph winds. My reasoning being black plastic will absorb too much heat, and sealed bags would steam the plants.

One of the problems when moving a lot of hostas a long distance could be dehydration. Not knowing how far you plan to move, what time of year, how many and how large your plants, etc.? At the right time you may consider what people like Hallson's does in shipping their hostas to customers. They bundle the pets, thoroughly bare-root the plant, and seal it in a clear plastic bag and pack them in a foam peanut insulated box to keep them cool. Then instruct us to soak the roots to rehydrate them and get them into soil quickly. I am sure others will have some other suggestions.

I'd never done such a move B4 so I was in uncharted water, and I am sure I could have done better. I didn't have a single hosta die when I moved them even though the day was cloudless.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 9:22AM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Pots. Shade. Oh and water.

Ken is the expert on this. He moved over 1500 Hostas. Don't worry he'll weigh in. See, I told you.


This post was edited by steve_mass on Wed, Dec 5, 12 at 10:06

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 10:04AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

define a 'bunch'

i moved 1650 hosta .. in hindsight.. it was insanity.. defined.. look it up .. you will see my picture...

i need more facts.. before i ramble on...

my ground in z5MI has been frozen for 2 weeks.. is yours.. are you doing this right now...

and most important.. where are the kids.. and do they have garden space ...

it might be simplest.. to bare root them.. and send them toward the new area ... immediately

perhaps rent the kids veggie patch for next year.. and just jam them all in there.. and if you are doing this.. to provide free baby sitting to grand kids.. you better make it very clear.. they better make g-ma happy.. or you will charge them ... you know the old saying.. 'if mom aint happy.. nobodies happy'.. lol ...

this will give you so much flexibility ... i just dont know how long they can be held in plastic bags ....

all that said.. ANYTHING you can buy for under $10 .. just leave them.. and buy them back later ... ONLY take those expensive one ...

it would be so much simpler.. to budget $200 spending spree for spring delivery.. than spend $300 on pots and media.. and backbreaking labor in the middle of winter ... if you see what i mean ... on some level.. its just not worth it ... so if a bunch is 20 hosta.. under $10.. see what i mean???? .. delivered right to your door.. when you want them ... go figure ...

more facts please ...


    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 10:04AM
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Let me clarify....a bunch is only perhaps 50 or so. The move is 125 miles, northwestern edge of Illinois to Chicago suburb. My plan is dig them in early April before they leaf out, just taking wedge out of each one and then parking them in Chicago for who knows how long. Could be a year or more. Should I bare root them? Will the walnut trees bother them? the alternative would be in full sun.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 8:01AM
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Not experienced with your zone, but this is what I'd do.

Get them out in April as you say.
Identify each one.
Put them in the black nursery pots, cheap is good. Bit of garden soil with them.

Leave them in those pots, but stick them in a row of deep mulch or some bags of cow manure in the pots still, under the trees. Keep them watered. If they have to spend another winter before they are planted, just keep mulch around them. Others who live in a cold climate can advise about this part.

Then, move them when you find your new house. Only one dig to do at the end.

Enjoy your move.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 5:44PM
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I have moved a lot (1000's) several times.

Given time constraints of Spring, if you know where they are while dormant, dig, knock the dirt off, keep in cool(cold would better)place and replant somewhere as soon as possible.

Store in plastic bags while cold and dormant, inside if possible, outside if necessary on covered ground

You will lose some but can always look back at the attempt to save money as real!

Would I move them again? Sure, if someone else has a strong back and weak mind!


    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 6:46PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hey .. you will be lucky in z4.. if your soil is thawed thru half of april ... especially.. since they are in shade.. of even bare trees ...

hey bruce.. i cant believe .. you suggested she bring them indoors.. i suspect you meant sheltered in an unheated structure ... they are not houseplants.. care to clarify???


    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 6:54PM
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Yes, Ken,

an unheated basement or barn or shed.

To keep them from freeze drying and vole damage.

Covered ground means on the ground and then put leaves around the bags or some kind of mild protection from temp swings.


    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 7:14PM
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