Sunday, October 26, 2008
Transplanted New England Aster
New England asters are a favorite wildflower of ours. They grow here, but are easily crowded out by the goldenrod in the abandoned fields. Their wild growth is usually limited to a single stalk. They are also on the list as deer candy so the young shoots get eaten on a regular basis. Because of this, we decided to move some small aster plants into one of Ed's new beds with his richly amended soil. We caged them to keep the deer from munching on them. The clumps got huge in a single year. They were taller than me and covered with flowers. They were absolutely gorgeous except for the fact that the lower leaves all turned brown. In one season they totally outgrew their space so this fall we transplanted them into a bed with unamended topsoil with only the stones removed. Of course this should have been done in the spring since the plant is a fall bloomer, but sometimes rules have to be broken. It doesn't seem to have slowed the clump down much. New growth is already started. In the spring this clump may be divided into twenty separate plants as indicated buy the number of dead stalks. This year we cautiously pinched back the new growth once. Next year we plan to do this early and often.