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Author Topic: The gardening thread  (Read 41780 times)

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rva

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Re: The gardening thread
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2007, 01:46:38 PM »

It's up to you.  Optimally, you'd wait until October and you can even go into November.  In fact, you can plant bulbs so long as the ground isn't too frozen to dig (but you might not get a bloom the first year).

But like va_vacious said, you could have bad weather, or you could be really busy during that time. Or you could just lose your enthusiasm for doing gardening by then.  Or the biggest factor  might be if you plan on doing a lot of fall planting and you can't squeeze it all into a few weekends.  Daffodils are the hardiest bulbs and they're not expensive.  So if you need to stretch out your planting times, I'd prioritize getting the other stuff during the fall window.  If it's truly a huge container of bulbs, then getting 200 bulbs in the ground and losing 15% beats waiting and then maybe only getting 50 in the ground and losing 5%.

It looks like the worst of summer might be past and you have a nice three day weekend   Doing it right is a much bigger factor for success both aesthetically and for plant yield than waiting for the exact perfect time.  If you're psyched up and have the time, go ahead. If you can wait a few weeks and it's no big deal, then wait a few weeks.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2007, 01:49:02 PM by rva »
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cuddlyevil

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Re: The gardening thread
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2007, 09:53:59 AM »

I have a dahlia question, one of my heirloom dahlias seems to have succumbed to the drought and leafhoppers. I was wondering if the tubers would still be salvageable?
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rva

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Re: The gardening thread
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2007, 12:25:06 PM »

I've never tried to grow dahlias, but I imagine there's a decent chance the tubers are still good.

Dig it out, and see if there are eyes on any of them and what parts look kinda dead-ish and what parts look good.  It might take a year or so for the plant to get fully up to steam, but it's worth a shot.

If it looks kinda shot, I wouldn't worry about it too much.  You can always divide one of your good dahlias. 
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cuddlyevil

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Re: The gardening thread
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2007, 01:27:30 PM »

Thanks rva, I hope you're right. I've only got one good plant left, it's a beautiful flower and I'd hate to lose it.
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rva

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Re: The gardening thread
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2007, 03:08:11 PM »

You should probably dig it up then, just to be safe. 

I'm in Zone 7 and supposedly you can get away with overwintering, but I don't know anyone who does it.  On the one hand, the people I know that grow Dahlias are the anal, organized-type gardeners so maybe you don't have to.  On the other hand, it probably says something that only anal, organized-type gardeners dare to grow Dahlias or keep them alive long enough to dig up every year in the first place.
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cuddlyevil

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Re: The gardening thread
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2007, 03:14:01 PM »

Heh, that's my MIL (her garden and yard is always perfect). I just like these and dig 'em up because I probably won't be able to buy them again for at least another 5-10 years, I let another heirloom dahlia go b/c I knew I could buy more next season. We're zone 6 so we can't really leave them in the ground and expect them to make it.
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rva

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Re: The gardening thread
« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2007, 03:42:24 PM »

Maybe you could join your local Dahlia society and get some tubers cheap.  There has to be one.  There's one for every other plant in the world.
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rva

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Re: The gardening thread
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2007, 11:54:09 PM »

Here's a picture for MK of some Rainbow Knockout Roses in bloom at the Portland Rose Garden. 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/13671501@N03/1395015406


I noticed that in several places where they just had to fill up some spots with roses (near random walkways, by the parking lot, etc.) they used at least a few knockouts, which is a good testament to their usefulness in tough settings.  My mom and dad thought the Pink knockouts were prettier, which I both agreed and disagreed with.  I think the Rainbows will look better in most yards.  In a massed setting you get a more casual, cottage-y look which I think is cool.  But if you are only planting like one shrub in a prominent place, the pink knockouts do have prettier, larger flowers.

Here's a link to some more pics:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/13671501@N03/sets/72157602040205600/
« Last Edit: September 16, 2007, 11:58:51 PM by rva »
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cuddlyevil

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Re: The gardening thread
« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2007, 11:13:10 AM »

Maybe you could join your local Dahlia society and get some tubers cheap.  There has to be one.  There's one for every other plant in the world.

I think there's a chapter of the national dahlia society in town. It looks like my dahlias are coming back, there's new growth on the plants. Holy shit this one is hardy.
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Kwyjibo

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Re: The gardening thread
« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2007, 04:36:58 PM »

We have a flower bed between our sidewalk and the house with a retaining wall at one end (the entrance to the house is well above driveway level).  This could all look pretty good but there are a couple of problems.

1.   The idiots that lived there before us left ivy growing, unchecked, just about everywhere, including both front beds, the beds in the back and all along the back fence line.  I donít necessarily dislike ivy but I donít want to spend my entire life fighting this stuff from taking over everything (it was starting to grow up under the siding in the front, yeah, no thanks) so Iíd like to just nip it in the bud.  Iíve been told itís pretty hard to get rid of ivy.  Weíve been ripping it up every now and then as we stand around looking at the mess befuddled and I sprayed some weed killer on it which did nothing at all.  Any suggestions?  Iím thinking I should maybe dig the top six inches off of the entire bed, should I do that or should I just dig it up where it sprouts and pull it out root and all?  Will that even get it all?

2.   The retaining wall isnít long for this world.  It was made of smaller river rocks and thereís nothing behind it to permit draining without allowing the soil to run out behind it as well so thereís been a fair amount of erosion going on.  Plus it's just plain falling down.  We bought some inexpensive lodgestone bricks to build a new wall with and I gather that some space behind the wall should be filled with gravel and the whole thing should be lined with landscaping fabric to keep the soil in.  Does anybody have any experience with building one of these?  How deep should the gravel be?  How far below the driveway level should I start the first course?  Iím assuming at least one course of the the wall should be buried, I've also read for the first course the bricks should be turned upside down and backward so that they're level and the first real course will line up with the tab on the bottom.

As for drainage it's a pretty small wall, maybe 4 1/2' wide by 4' tall.  I don't need to run a corrugated drain or anything do I?

I hate that those lodgestone bricks are so common and bland, and I'd like to use something better but this was $.88 a brick compared to $3 and up for something nicer.  What other choice could I make?

What should we plant?  Loweís had some nice perennials on sale and I understand that fall is good time to plant shrubs.  I donít mind the thought of having something growing as ground cover but I donít want anything that is going to climb and I donít want to have to do much more than trim at the edge of the driveway or the retaining wall.  Clipping hedges is cool, obviously, but I donít want anything that will get too big.

We both kind of like those ornamental kales, anybody have any experience with those?

I can't wait to work on the back, the dummies planted hostas in areas that get tons of direct sunlight.  Read the little card on the plant ya schmucks, probably shouldn't plant a shade loving plant in a place with a clear western view for 400'.
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rva

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Re: The gardening thread
« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2007, 05:08:30 PM »

I'm kind of weird I guess, because I enjoy pulling up ivy.  To me, it's one of the easiest groundcovers to deal with.  Because other stuff is all thin and when you pull it up, it breaks.  Ivy you can just grab a big root and just sort of keep pulling.  You rip that particular runner out of the ground while at the same time tracing it to it's source.  And then you can yank out a huge chunk all at once.  I just think it's kind of fun because you're like destroying stuff and at the end of the day you can see the progress you made.

If you have two people, you can dig it out.  Do it like you're peeling a sticker or rolling up a mat.  Start at a corner and pull it back.  Dig out the roots underneath.  Grab some more along an edge and dig that out.  Then just sort of keep rolling/peeling it back, digging the roots out each time.

Weed killer doesn't affect ivy at all.  The leaves have that waxy coating to them, the runners are real tough, and they can root anywhere along the runner so you have to kill the whole thing, not just part of it and wait for the rest to die.

You could always go to an Army Surplus store and see if they've gotten some leftover cannisters of Agent Orange in the back.

Hostas will grow in direct sunlight and damn near any other condition.  If the leaves are dark, they should be all right.  You can pull the hosta if you want (because they can be kind of boring).  I'm just saying you probably don't *have* to.

The general rule of thumb is:  Don't build a retaining wall over 3 feet.  In fact, the decorative retaining wall stuff like Lodgestone usually carries a warning about it.  It shouldn't be a big deal though.  Just do it in tiers of 2 feet.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2007, 05:16:56 PM by rva »
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rva

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Re: The gardening thread
« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2007, 05:19:33 PM »

Oh, Ornamental Kale. 

When I lived in Williamsburg, *everyone* grew it.  I never heard of anyone having much problems with it.  Annuals are generally like that.  They're almost impossible to kill, but you have to replant them every year or let them self sow.
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rva

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Re: The gardening thread
« Reply #27 on: October 07, 2007, 02:52:29 PM »

I just spent 6 hours the last two days digging out a bed.  I used: hoe, chainsaw, loppers, two different types of shovels, turning fork, hand saw, drill, hammer, railway spikes, helmet, work gloves, hose.  Also, I'm exhausted and I think I might puke.  Seriously, I can't remember the last time I felt this bad.  And I haven't even put a plant in the ground yet.

I have not used: hand trowel, watering can, handheld shears, sunhat, gardening gloves.  Who are these little old ladies with their garden carts and dainty garden gear?  It's all a huge lie.
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MissKitty

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Re: The gardening thread
« Reply #28 on: October 08, 2007, 08:45:01 AM »

Last week I planted all the daffodil and hyacinth bulbs in one of the front beds. I think I will wait until spring to remove the evergreen shrubs that I'm planning to get rid of.

Rva, you sound like you are doing industrial gardening, not little-old-lady gardening. :)
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MissKitty

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Re: The gardening thread
« Reply #29 on: October 08, 2007, 08:45:35 AM »

Thanks for the photos of the rainbow knockouts. Hopefully ours will be in the ground in the next week. :)
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