When and how to extract seedlings

There about 25-30 seedlings up to 30" tall growing very vigorously right now that I feel should be transplanted from the seed bed due to jam packed conditions. They are not spindly or climbers and i’d like the surrounding seedlings to develop better. Half of these are going to be real slow starters come spring, evergreen, above or below the snow. Move now to establish some pre-winter growth or wait till more dormant conditions? Pacific NW.

I don’t like the idea of shoveling these out. Would pulling, winching or hydraulic, out of loose soil work?

If you plan to keep those and the ones around them, wait until they are dormant. Moving now is risky, and success would require a lot of special treatment. Moving them now is more trouble than it’s worth, especially for the little time left in the growing season. If you put them in a good place during the winter, they’ll quickly make up any deficiency of growth next year.

Thanks Peter: That takes care of the second question also,—shovel it is. These are keepers. A lot of seedlings self destruct and later some three day wonders are going. By spring i’ll see if any others have worth while growth but i’ll probable cheat and give them plastic protection with a porous top.

I’m not sure what you mean by “shovel it is.” Anything you move right now is going to be set back no matter how nice you are to it. Are you just saying that you will wait until winter and use a shovel? Or do you intend to move them now regardless?

I guess that’s always a problem I have, not clear enough. Don’t worry it’s MY problem.

I will wait till winter. At that time chopped roots probably are not that important.???

The best time to transplant in NW Oregon/SW Washington is usually early November or last February as long as its not one of those rare weird weeks where it suddenly stops raining, the ground feezes, the sky is bright baby blue and the wind is howling. It almost aways happens at least one week in February. These two time frames are best because the hard clay is now like a thick, pliable slurpee. Its all about how much root ball you can get as one whole unit without the firbous parts being damaged. One of the bad parts about clay soil is that if a piece falls off, it will take everything with it due to its weight and plastic nature. Be prepared to get muddy shoes and a wet soul, lol. The rain is a pain in the butt but it makes for optimal transplanting.

Roses only go minorly dormant in that area. December-January really is the only real dormancy time. And they do not always go dormant even then. It depends on the year. I usually prune in the early morning for this reason because I want to make sure that I am not pruning any parts where the sugars have risen upward into the canes during the daytime. The milder the day, the more likely that the rose is deceivingly active internally.

Ok, hard frost time. You can be sure the holes in the nine foot wide parking strip are going to be prepped way before then.

Heirlooms was well worth the trip. It was refreshing to be able to see the flowers and form on a full size bush.

Thanks for the tips.

Yeah, no problem. Its my pleasure.

Places like Heirlooms are also good for getting a feel of how infinite the arranement of any garden can be. Roses and their space in the Earth do not have to be perfectly geometric. Likewise, the roses within an area do not all have to, as Heidi Klum would say, “be all matchy-match.” :slight_smile:

And, yeah, my gf and I have been watching too much Project Runway. Sigh… :confused:

btw, and I know this is off-topic, but if anyone wants a short-route to learning how to design their garden in a non-geometric way then learn traditional ikebana. It seemingly does not relate to the layout of anyone’s roses but it actually relates heavily. It really should not be that much of a stretch for many of us because pruning can be equally meditative. I could easily pass hours inside my head while pruning and not realize it. Thats how I ended up with a scar on my left hand, lol :slight_smile: Lets just say that pruners are not meant to cut directly into one’s palm. At any rate, the ebb and flow of this type of idea is very similar in nature to ikebana. I would strongly encouage anyone to learn the traditional way. Its also good for being more perceptive towards a wider range of styles in roses.