Moving plants from one place to another is risky. There’s a 50/50 chance of survival with many plants, and as we dive into the process, we go in knowing it may not end well. It helps to know that every job has the perfect tool, and with my trusty new Rabbiting Spade from Clarington Forge, I felt confident to face those dicey transplanting odds.

The Rabbiting Spade cuts easily into the soil in tight spaces around the base of the plant. We were moving an Apricot Mallow, a California Native, to make room for a Jerusalem Sage (another native). First, however, we had to dig out several dead plants.

The spade slid into the soil and we were able to lift the entire root ball without hassle. We dug the new hole with the same spade in close quarters with a rosemary shrub. It was no trouble at all.

The whole operation took less than 15 minutes to remove the dead plants, move the Apricot Mallow from one place to another, and dig a hole to plant the new Jerusalem Sage. Once transplanted, we watered our plants deeply and crossed our fingers for the best of odds. Regardless whether they make it, we look forward to years of use from this Rabbiting Spade.


Christy Wilhelmi, author of Gardening for Geeks, empowers people to grow their own food, to be more self-reliant, and to reduce pollution and waste, one garden at a time. Christy is founder of Gardenerd (, the ultimate resource for garden nerds, where she publishes information-packed monthly newsletters, weekly blog posts, and podcasts. She also specializes in small-space, organic vegetable garden design and consulting. Christy has been a board member of Ocean View Farms Organic Community Garden in Mar Vista, California since 1999, and gardens almost entirely with heirloom vegetables. Between 70-80 percent of her family’s produce comes from her garden of less than 200 square feet. Her writing has appeared in Edible Los Angeles magazine, Edible Westside magazine, The Good Food Blog, and and the Mar Vista Farmers’ Market Wrap-Up for

Posted in Garden Tools By Emma Kelly on 13th May 2013

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