Moving Plants

Dear Martin

I am due to move house next week to a larger garden and plan to make use of the vegetable garden - 5m x 6m. I should like to buy the v tall fruit cage to accommodate my move accompanied by my entire collection of garden plants now in pots!

Unfortunately there are a LOT of rabbits there just now and I should like to think that the use of a fruit cage for the first few months will give me (my plants) sufficient protection from them until I can establish a rabbit proof boundary fence and lower the population gradually.... the local authority and next door farmer say that this can be accomplished by the autumn.

I appreciate that the rabbits will easily dig under the netting of the fruit cage - but I am planning to surround the cage initially with an extra layer of buried chicken wire to deter them.

Once we are a little better established I expect to be able to use the fruit cage as just that rather than a prison for my few containerised shrubs and trees which have come with me from my previous garden - and managed since '07 to survive against remarkable odds!

This is plan A and I am looking forward to talking to Harrod Hort about it tomorrow.
In the meantime - do you have any other ideas I could try to help my plants to survive whilst moving into this alien environment?

Regards, H. Young

PS. I am usually a 'live and let live' person but the rabbit/muntjac population there is extreme!

Dear H!

Dear H!  

Many thanks for your message and I hope your plans for a rabbit exclusion zone in and around your proposed fruit cage work out; the way you intend to protect the cage once established certainly points to success!

With regard to moving and protecting your existing potted plants; even though you hope to have the rabbit population drastically reduced by the autumn, I'd recommend temporarily planting out the shrubs in a fertile soil enriched with plenty of well rotted compost. This mix should help retain water and setting up a ground level irrigation system (try our soaker hose) should help them through after a thorough initial watering. This then provides you with the opportunity to lift and replant in the autumn/winter (as long as the ground is not waterlogged or frozen) when the trees you mention will be dormant or less prone to stress when moving.