Moving an established plant
Of course, the best advice is don't do it. You'd be pretty miffed if someone came along and dragged you out of your house ad dumped you in some other place you hadn't chose, and would probably have a good long sulk at the very least. Certain plants, notably peonies and dicentras, bleeding heart in particular rarely recover from the indignity for being bundled out of their beds. But on the whole plants are remarkable accommodating provided you show a little thoughtfulness and TLC in effecting the upheaval.
Using a fork rather than a spade, which will cut too many roots, loosen the soil at a good distance from the main stem all round the plant. A good distance would be about 3 inches for small plants like petunias and primulas and proportionately further out the larger the plant. Water it well before you life it and next prepare a hole fo the same depth, but twice as wide as the hole you've just dug round the plant you're moving. Plants don't like to have their roots constricted any more than you like squeezing into a jacket two sizes too small so the object is to make sure the receiving hole has plenty of room for the roots to spread outwards.
If the plant is small, you can lift it in cupped hands, being sure to keep as much soil round the roots as possible. If it is large, lift it into sacking or polythene and tie it securely round the root ball before moving to the new home. When you've settled into a new hole, spread the roots as much as you can without breaking the root ball away, then water it well and let the water soak away before filling in the hole and firming the ground well. But plants need some air at the root so if your soil is heavy clay, or it's wet, don't firm the ground too vigorously or you'll drive out all the air.
" The first step in getting to know a plant intimately is to dig it up and study it's root system. Learn how it eats and drinks. See how fair it forages for food. Know your root and garden wisdom will be added unto you."
Richard Wright 1933
Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa