can anyone help............I want to move my laurels but unsure if firstly they will survive and secondly when is the best time to do this? They are not huge shrubs approx about 2ft wide by 4ft high.
You can move a laurel just about any time you like and you are unlikely to kill it. They are the spawn of the devil.
Now is an excellent time.
I would do it fairly soon, as long as your soil is well prepared and good and damp (we've still got very dry weather here in the east).
To prepare - Cut the laurel shrubs right down to about 1ft high - I know that sounds extreme but they'll soon regrow - you need to cut them down so they don't get wind-rocked in the winter which would prevent the roots getting established - it would also mean that water would lodge around the roots and freeze and rot them. It also gives the plants the opportunity to recover without having to maintain that large leaf area. If you don't cut them right back they'll turn brown and you'll wish you'd done as I advised
Make sure there's no grass or weeds growing around them and also clear the new site - I would clear an area 3 ft wide, dig it over well and incorporate some well-rotted farmyard manure and/or compost into the soil.
Dig them up with as large a root ball as possible and transplant them straight away.
Water well (a couple of buckets full each) after they've been transplanted and mulch with compost.
Through the autumn and winter, only water them in mild spells if the soil is dry a couple of inches below the surface and do not water them in frosty weather.
When spring arrives make sure they don't dry out, and when summer comes keep the soil around them moist but not soggy - giving them a really good soaking (a couple of buckets full each plant) twice a week rather than a sprinkling every day.
Good luck and fingers crossed
because winter is on the way maybe I'm best waiting till around march once all the cold weather is out the way, what do you think?
No, I'd do it now - the soil is still warm and will remain so for a while yet - this will enable the roots to begin to make themselves at home. Also, if you transplant them in the spring, and then we get a dry summer, the watering regime will be much more critical.
Definitely best done now
Daniel I had to dig one out recently to move a shed - it was cut right back as Dove describes and I sat it in some soil as a temporary measure till I got the ground ready for it to go into. It's sprouting like mad and I intend getting it in to it's new home within the next week or so. The ground is pretty favourable just now so I'd be inclined to go for it rather than wait. Just keep an eye on them and follow the advice Dove's outlined above. They're pretty tough old shrubs.