Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Milkweed Transplant Guerillas

This year we are so excited to report that we have a lot of milkweed naturally growing in our field. We are hoping to find monarch caterpillars all over those beautiful plants this summer. Most of the milkweed is growing tall and some is even almost ready to bloom!

Fauna and I were walking the field trails today and found a lot of young milkweed stretching for the sun right in the middle of the trails.

This is all and good until the man with the mower is out and about. My hubby is very respectful of our wild gardens, but we must always be sure to inform him of what not to cut, (he wants me to provide a ring of laminated cards of the plants he is not allowed to mow over). And since the young milkweed are right in the middle of our trails, their doom is on the horizon. Fauna and I can't handle such a thought!

So we thought we would try transplanting the milkweed right into our vegetable garden. I have read that milkweed doesn't usually transplant well due to its long taproot; but it could work if it's a young plant no taller than 6 inches. Our little milkweeds were little so we thought we'd give it a try. Fauna had trouble digging with her little red shovel (the pretzel could have had something to do with it).

So she moved on to my shovel (she is only 7 and already "borrowing" my shoes).

We dug up 7 young plants and transplanted them right into our vegetable garden. We had to put them in a garden walking path, because this garden is jam packed with vegetables and herbs.

Some of the milkweed drooped right away, but the others are looking ok. We watered them in nicely and now only time will tell. Fauna named them all Mr. Survivor, hoping the positive name will help them grow! I must share an email from my sister Katrina in reference to our milkweed transplanting,
"I have some milkweed that has been growing along the driveway for 3 years, matt (her hubby) really hates the look but wouldn't dare touch them. Don't tell him if your transplanting works, he and I discuss how hard they are to transplant every time we get the mail or bring out the trash."

We are from the same cloth that's for sure! I'll keep you posted on the outcome.


Anet said...

Sending loads of healthy growing to the milkweed!
I love milkweed it's such a fun plant.
I remember painting the dried pods in school with a shiny silver paint. They looked so pretty:)
My husband mows and weedwacks like a mad man!

Stephanie said...

It's my plan to collect seeds this year and grow some in our gardens next year. :)

Best wishes little plantlets!

dongdong said...

J got big feet too. I wonder if that means she (they)'ll be tall?

sarah in the woods said...

Hope it turns out! They'll be so fun.

Joy said...

I hope your milkweed survives the transplant. I still chuckle that you work so hard to keep it around while I spent so long trying to keep it out of my gardens. I haven't see it this year yet, of course! :)

I think Fauna's feet are the opposite of Elizabeth's. Elizabeth used to have the hardest time picking out shoes because she just (this year in 2nd grade) grew into kids size shoes. She hated having to shop for shoes in the toddler section when she was in K-1st grade. :) I think my shoes will be safe for a few more years. ;)

jane said...

ha! ha! your posts always make me happy. sending lots of positive thoughts:) p.s. wait till they are 15 my dear....

Tan Family said...

Neat lessons for your kids in this...protecting living things, transplanting, growing, plant observation...good luck with the surviving plants!

Shady Lady said...

Wow! And I'm afraid to move my squash. ;P