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Ask a Gardener - Trimming

March 28, 2016


I'm replanting (from a friend's garden) gold broom. Is it better to trim off the top half before replanting or replant then cut it back? Is there any particular soil amendment I should use when planting? I've already tilled in a few inches of compost. - Evelyn



You’re probably better off trimming up the bush before moving it.  That way, the plant can focus most of its energy on establishing its roots and not supporting a bunch of excess top growth.   When transplanting, a good rule of thumb is that the top growth should be about the same size as the root ball.  So, if the roots are 12” deep, the plant should be about 12” tall.  

Compost is a perfect soil amendment.  We also recommend Colorado’s Choice B.O.S.S. It’s a mixture of compost and peat moss that also has mychorriaze.  The main thing is to introduce as much organic material as you can.  This will improve water and air movement and also provide plenty of nutrition for the plant as it becomes re-established.

Once the broom is transplanted, you can also use a root stimulator to help decrease transplant shock.  Root stimulator helps the plant put out more feeder roots, which lets it absorb more water and nutrients from the soil.  It helps reduce stress and encourage new growth.  Use root stimulator once a week for the first month.  By then your broom should be happily settled in its new home!

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