How to Garden When You’re in Transition

The last couple of years have been learning ones for me; mainly learning how to do a lot of things on my own.

This year with my upcoming move I have to make sure I don’t plant anything that won’t be ready by the time I pack up the last of my things. For a gardener, that’s not the easiest feat to accomplish.

As much as I like to grow my vegetables, herbs, and flowers in my raised beds, I’m going to have to resort to container gardening this year. And even with the containers, I’m going to have to make sure I don’t plant too many. I honestly don’t think my friends and family are going to appreciate having to move a lot of containers.

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Keep it small.

As much as gardeners love to plant, it’s important to remember the harvest may not be ready until after you’re in your new location. I know that’s going to be the case for me, because I’ll be moving in July. July is usually when everything really gets growing.

If you feel you must plant something, stick to radishes, lettuce, spinach, and cherry tomatoes. They can be harvested early (except the tomatoes) and do well in containers.

Spend time cleaning up your existing yard.

As you know, I had trees taken down last fall. As I wait for moving day I am concentrating on cleaning up the wood chips, branches, and logs that were left (upon my request). I don’t want to leave the yard a mess for my brother-in-law. Not only will it make it easier for him, I’ll get my steps and exercise in when the weather is good.

Plan out your new yard.

Whether you’re moving onto a farm, an acreage, or a municipality, figuring out what to do with your new space can satisfy the need to do something garden-related.

Last week I was able to visit my new yard and I took a lot of pictures, just so I can have a visual and figure out where to put my trees, raised beds, raspberries, and asparagus. As I wait for moving day I’ll be utilizing some graph paper or a page or three in my planner, just so I can get to work as soon as I’m unpacked.

As I was walking around my new yard, I saw this. She must’ve been buried in a snow drift because I didn’t see her when I was there the 3 previous times.

When I built my deck two years ago I had some leftover lumber, which will also be moved and utilized in my new space. I think I have enough to add on to the existing deck, plus build a set of steps from the garage to the lower part of the yard. (There are currently some railroad ties there, and I do not like the look or the smell of them. They will be one of the first things to go.)

Give your houseplants the attention they deserve.

Not every gardener has houseplants, but for those of you that do, transition time is the perfect time to repot, fertilize, prune, divide, and conquer.

I did a bunch of repotting a few weeks ago, and my plants are loving their new root space. It’s amazing how much difference an extra inch or two of soil space makes.

I also acquired two new plants last week. My daughter wanted to get me something for Mother’s Day and my birthday, so we went to the greenhouse. She bought me two African Violets (yes, I’m going to try growing them again); one with pink flowers and the other with blue flowers. They weren’t expensive (I wouldn’t let her spend a lot of money on me), but I hope I don’t kill them. I have to get it right with them sooner or later, right?

Organize and take inventory of your seeds.

I don’t know about you, but my seeds are in a couple of small plastic totes. One holds flower seeds and the other is filled with vegetable seeds. At this point they are not organized; just put in the totes so they don’t end up all over.

I’m currently working on a printable Garden Planner/Journal, and one of the sections is going to have inventory sheets. I’m expanding on one I created in the past, because I see a need for more than just a few pages. (My goal is to have it finished and ready for sale by month-end.)

Dig up any perennials/trees/shrubs you will be moving to your new space.

In my last post I talked about my apple trees, and the research I did on moving them. It has been a cold spring so I was worried about the roots freezing if I dug them up too soon. We finally had a decent rain and some warmer temperatures, and my trees are now leafing out…and still in the ground.

My plan is to dig them up and put them in 5 gallon buckets this weekend, with hopes they survive. I’ll also be digging up my peony, some raspberry bushes, a Virginia Creeper, and some asparagus. Those alone should give me enough to take care of and worry about until I get them in the ground at my new place.

Conclusion

There is always something for a gardener to do, even if planting, weeding, and harvesting has to be delayed for a season. Make the best of your gardening time, no matter what else is happening in your life. Gardening truly is good for the body, mind, and soul. And when your transition is done, you can enjoy the features of your new space.

p.s. I think I need a name for my tree stump (pictured above). What are your thoughts on a name for her?

Author: Diane Ziomek

I am a mom, independent author, freelance writer, fibre artist, and podcaster. I like to share what I have learned with others over the years, in hopes of making their lives easier and more lucrative. My published works can be found on most ebook platforms, as well as on my website. I also have a just-for-fun website about gardening where I share information about plants, how-to's, and gardening in a cold climate.

5 thoughts on “How to Garden When You’re in Transition”

  1. When I started to read this very informative piece I said “Use container planters”…but as I read on I found that you had already gone there…isn’t it amazing about “great minds”??? LOL!!! Wishing you continued success in your new venture…CIAO MY FRIEND…

    Like

  2. As a fellow gardener, although not as clever as I would like, I thoroughly enjoyed your post. Moving house is bad enough, worse if you are moving half of your garden too! How about Lulu for your lovely tree stump?

    Like

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