Can You Take Your Garden With You When You Move?

You worked hard to plant a beautiful flower garden, taking it from a simple design in your head to a full-fledged garden you could see, smell, touch and enjoy. You may even have a flourishing vegetable garden or a clump of delicious raspberries out back that you inherited from your grandpa. And then there’s the apple tree you planted to memorialize a loved one who passed away. All of the plants in your yard represent your history and hold a lot of value—both sentimental and financial.

And now you’re faced with the prospect of having to let it all go and start again. Is there any way to actually take your garden with you when you move? You can pack up all of your other belongings in boxes and haul them away. Can you do the same with plants?

Flowers and Trees as Part of the Property

The prevailing standard in real estate is that anything in the ground becomes part of the property itself. That means when it’s time to sell, your flower garden and trees and lawn are all offered as a package deal along with the house, garage, driveway, fence, shed and other structures you wouldn’t think twice about.
Buyers are going to assume that the beautiful flower garden that offered such great curb appeal to the home will still be there when they get the keys to the house. After all, it’s well known that a home’s curb appeal affects its market value. A bait-and-switch trick won’t be appreciated if your buyers feel cheated out of money.
If you intend to take your flowers with you, you’ll need to state that very clearly in your contract. Be sure to tell your real estate agent about your plans. Try not to totally clear your yard; take what truly matters.

Veggies Are an Exception

However, your vegetable garden, however humble it may be, is actually full of “crops,” and crops are attached to you, not the land, as far as ownership is concerned. This means you could dig up your vegetable garden and take it with you if you so wish, and be within your legal rights to do so. But it is always best to be as transparent as possible about these things to ensure there are no misunderstandings. Although missing vegetables is a petty thing to sue for, you never know how the buyers will react. Put it in writing that you intend to take those veggies with you.

Successfully Transferring Your Plants

When transferring plants from your old residence to your new home, the success of the operation depends a lot on the type of plants you are moving, the overall health of the plants, how much time must be spent moving from one place to another, and the season in which you are moving.

For the best success, try to do everything as quickly as possible. Water the plants thoroughly before digging them up in the evening. Try not to expose the roots; leave as much dirt on as you can. Bring them straight to the new location and plant them, watering deeply.

A cross-country move is more difficult. Try to keep the plants in a temperature controlled environment. Transplant them to peat pots so that you can put the pots straight into the ground at your new location without having to disturb the roots again. Water thoroughly and try to avoid planting them in the morning during summer, or the heat will do them in. Evening is best.

~Guest post by Cathy Habas, a professional writer with an interest in the environment, home renovation and social justice. She enjoys writing about things that help people live their fullest lives. You can contact Cathy through her LinkedIn.