Plants – Heeling In

Rose rosette disease dug up

Q: We will be moving this winter and I have several plants that I would like to take with me. There are several rose bushes, Indian hawthorn, rhododendrons, azaleas, bulbs and a red twig dogwood. They are healthy and did quite well this past summer. What would be the best way to keep these until they can be planted?

A: You’ll have to “heel in” your plants where they will not be disturbed until you are ready to plant at your new home.

Basically all you do is dig a trench three feet wide and twelve inches deep. Pile the removed soil beside the trench, which can be as long as you like. Dig your individual plants and put the root balls side by side in the trench. It is fine to crowd them a bit if you have to. Try to keep the roots buried at the same level at which they were growing originally. Once the plants are all lined up in the trench, cover the root balls with the soil you originally removed. Water them thoroughly to get good root to soil contact. All of your plants should be perfectly happy waiting there until planting time next spring.

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