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Thread: Gardening

  1. #61
    Kitten time! Gutmutter's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Mio and Reo
    I almost got sucked into Dr. Phil after work yesterday, but I made myself turn it off and I went out and pulled all the raspberries and goldenrod out of a raised bed of assorted bulbs. It took all afternoon, but now I have 50-60 bulbs ready to come into their glory. Today I'm going out with my clippers and will trim back the rest of the black raspberries. They are all around my property and have really taken over.
    Count your blessings!

  2. #62
    Salty waywyrd's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    South Carolina
    I've got wild blackberries that just won't go away, too. Roundup won't even keep them at bay for long!

    Has anybody had any luck with ficus trees? I can grow any houseplant but these...they look great for a few weeks, then promptly drop all their leaves and die. They get bright light, I don't overwater...what am I doing wrong?
    It was me. I let the dogs out.

  3. #63
    Queen Chloe Harmoj's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    Oh Go Away
    I have a question for you garden experts.

    When is it a good time to trim bushes? Our house was fully landscaped when we moved in late 2004. The bushes around my patio are starting to get a little out of control, but I don't know when the best time is to trim them. Can I do it now before they leaf out? They are not evergreens.

    Ok. I think these are the right ones.

    http://www.naturehills.com/new/product/shrubs_productdetails.aspx?pro name=Spiraea+-+Frobeli
    Last edited by Harmoj; 03-28-2006 at 04:24 PM.

  4. #64
    FORT Fogey veejer's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    Harmoj, are they still dormant? Usually you can prune while they're dormant. I'd google the name plus "prune" to see if you can find anything about them specifically.

    My tomato seeds have started sprouting!!! I am growing three varieties this year and so far there are several up of the Heinz 1350 and the Fourth of July. None of my Giant Belgium's are up yet, but as they are an heirloom variety perhaps they take longer. I've never grown them before.
    "Fish are friends, not food, but everything else is fair game." ~ Pating, Survivor Cagayan Pool

  5. #65
    Resident curmudgeon Newfherder's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Enchanted by a beautiful Soprano
    If you live in an area with sporatic rainfall, I heartily recommend drip irrigation for gardens. I've used it for a couple of years now, and have much better crops, mostly because I'm more consistent with watering. I don't like to use lawn sprinklers except on very calm days because the Kansas wind blows the water everywhere but on my veggies. Drip doesn't have that problem--the water is delivered right to the base of the plants. Last year, I also ran a half-mile of tubing with drippers to 300 trees that I planted as a windbreak.

    One of the suppliers of drip equipment, DIG Corporation, has a good on-line guide to drip irrigation at
    http://www.digcorp.com/pdf/User2003.pdf I've found the same information in a pamphlet at Home Depot and at Wal-Mart, but for some reason have never found it at Lowes.
    "The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination."
    --Marion Zimmer Bradley

  6. #66
    FORT Fogey misskitty's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    In the Kat House in Kanada
    nlmcp and gutmutter: Thank you for your suggestions. I'll give those a try!

    Here's a ditty I found about houseplants and flowers. I never knew....
    Expert Says Liquor Could Help Houseplants

    ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) - For home gardeners who don't want their daffodils to tip over, a Cornell University horticulturist thinks he has the answer: Get the flowers a little tipsy with some hard liquor.

    Giving some potted plants diluted alcohol - whiskey, vodka, gin or tequila - stunts the growth of the stem but does not affect the blossoms, said William Miller, director of Cornell's Flower Bulb Research Program. As a result, the houseplant does not get so tall that it flops over.

    Miller reported his findings in the April issue of HortTechnology, a peer-reviewed journal of horticulture.

    "I've heard of using alcohol for lots of things ... but never for dwarfing plants," said Charlie Nardozzi, a horticulturist with the National Gardening Association. "It sounded weird when I first heard about it, but our members say it works. I'm going to try it next year, just for curiosity."

    Miller's study focused on paperwhite narcissus and other daffodils, but he has also had promising results with tulips.

    Miller began his investigation last year after receiving a call from The New York Times about a reader who had written to the garden editor claiming that gin had prevented some paperwhite narcissi from growing too tall and floppy and asked if it was because of some "essential oil" in the gin.

    Intrigued, Miller tested dry gin, unflavored vodka, whiskey, white rum, gold tequila, mint schnapps, red and white wine and pale lager beer, on paperwhites. The beer and wine did not work, probably because of their sugar content, he said.

    "While solutions greater than 10 percent alcohol were toxic. Solutions between 4 and 6 percent alcohol stunted the paperwhites effectively," Miller said. "When the liquor is properly used, the paperwhites we tested were stunted by 30 to 50 percent, but their flowers were as large, fragrant and long-lasting as usual."

    Miller said gardeners should wait until their daffodil shoots are several inches long, then pour the diluted alcohol into the soil.

    (To get a 5 percent solution from 80-proof liquor, which is 40 percent alcohol, add one part liquor to seven parts water.)

    Any economic benefits, at least directly, are slight, Miller said. Commercial horticulturists already have other growth-control methods for large-scale production, such as employing unusual temperature cycles.

    Miller is not sure why the alcohol stunts plant growth, but he theorized it might injure the roots. Or, he speculated that the mixture forces the plant to expend energy to extract the water or rid itself of the alcohol.

    Live simply ~ Love generously~ Care deeply~ Speak kindly

  7. #67
    FORT Fogey veejer's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    If you have an Easter Lily, it can be planted outside to bloom year after year. My mom did this a few years ago here in NW Ohio (zone 5) without much care and it has bloomed every summer since. Here are some directions I found.

    How to Grow:

    Most people buy potted plants for Easter so let's begin with a blooming plant.

    After the flower has died,off continue to grow the Lily in it's container until the last frost in your area. Then, transplant your Easter Lily in a flower garden. It prefers somewhat rich soil, fairly well drained, and full sun. It should be allowed to continue to grow. Like other spring bulbs, the plant will naturally die off as summer arrives.

    In the fall, apply bulb fertilizer or blood meal on top of the soil where your Easter Lily bulb is resting. Carefully, work the fertilizer in without disturbing the bulbs. In colder climates, add a layer of mulch on top of the soil to protect the bulb from freezing.

    Your transplanted Easter Lily should awaken the following spring. They will bloom in late spring. However, it may not bloom until the second year after it is transplanted. Many bulbs that have been forced to bloom need a year to recover and return to a normal cycle. Then again, perhaps you'll be one of the lucky ones to see a transplanted Easter Lily bloom the following spring.

  8. #68
    FORT Regular angelic_one2002's Avatar
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    Feb 2003
    I heard that spreading brewed coffee grounds on rhodedendrons really makes them grow well..they prefer acidic soil, this is why. I'm anxious for the annual flowers to come out in stores. I want to plant them around my flagpole again this spring.
    "Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn." ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

  9. #69
    Premium Member DesertRose's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Reno hell
    Quote Originally Posted by veejer View Post
    If you have an Easter Lily, it can be planted outside to bloom year after year. My mom did this a few years ago here in NW Ohio (zone 5) without much care and it has bloomed every summer since. Here are some directions I found.
    Thanks Veejer! As it happens, I have a potted Lily. I'll do just that. I assume you can do the same with Daffodils?

  10. #70
    FORT Fogey veejer's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by DesertRose View Post
    I assume you can do the same with Daffodils?
    Thanks to googling "transplant potted daffodil", here is your answer.

    Q -- I have a potted yellow daffodil that I received. My dilemma is that I know nothing about them. I don't know how much water to give. I know they are perennials and want to plant them outside in a concrete pot I have but I don't know if it is warm enough. It has been in the 60's for the past week but the last 2 days have been a high of about 40. They are beautiful and I want them to be able to come up again next year. Can you help? When do they usually bloom? Is it safe to transplant them outside since they have already bloomed? Please help me keep them pretty!

    A -- Potted hardy bulbs that have been forced for indoor display are worth saving and planting outside, in most cases. Daffodils, narcissus, crocus, grape hyacinths and many others will transplant beautifully to the garden. Tulips are often a waste of time, but it is worth trying them since you can always dig them up and discard in a year or two if they don't do anything.

    After you have enjoyed the flowers inside, place the pots of bulbs outside during the daytime. Bring inside at night (or in the day) if the temperatures are going to dip below freezing. Water them regularly, which means probably every two to three days for small pots, a couple of times a week for larger ones. It does not hurt to use a liquid fertilizer on them every two weeks. The plants are storing energy in the bulbs for next year, so this is a time when they need plenty of food and sunlight.

    Allow the foliage to die back naturally. The leaves of potted bulbs usually die off completely by about mid June or so. At that time you should remove the bulbs from the pots and do one of two things: either plant them in the garden immediately, or store them in a cardboard box in the garden shed until September, then plant them. Some gardeners also will simply remove them from the pot and plant the whole rootball of bulbs in the ground while they still have foliage. You would want to wait until mid to late April in most regions to do this, so the foliage does not freeze back. I like to remove the bulbs from the pots in order to space them further apart in the garden, since there are usually a lot of bulbs crammed into those pots, and they are a little bit too close together.

    Next spring your bulbs may not flower as well as they did in the house. This is not a cause for alarm. "Forcing" them in pots is exhausting to the bulbs, and it may take a couple of years for them to recover and start to flower in a normal way. Choose a site in the garden that receives plenty of sun in the spring. Shade through the summer is fine, since the bulbs usually go dormant before then anyhow.

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