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RE: Dwarfing Rose of Sharon? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: caliloo on 07.30.2006 at 08:11 pm in Pennsylvania Gardening Forum

I have a couple growing as standards and yes, I prune them back to about 3 - 4 feet in late winter or early spring. By the end of summer they are about 6 - 4 feet tall.

Pruning anything in the fall is a bad idea IMHO.



clipped on: 08.01.2006 at 06:55 am    last updated on: 08.01.2006 at 06:55 am

RE: How to maintain tulips? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: kato_b on 07.18.2006 at 09:10 pm in Pennsylvania Gardening Forum

Ann, have you tried any of the Darwin hybrids? I have some that have been coming back for years without any attention.
Not all species tulips are the same.... just because they grow wild in one part of the world doesn't mean they will do well in your garden.

and...... if you really want to have your tulips return strong every year: fertilize well, allow the leaves to die back on their own, dig the bulbs up when it does, save only the largest bulb of each clump, replant in the autumn.
You can see why most people just leave them in and consider it a bonus when they reflower next year!


clipped on: 07.20.2006 at 06:59 am    last updated on: 07.20.2006 at 06:59 am

RE: Color scheme of your garden? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: floragal on 07.13.2006 at 01:15 pm in Pennsylvania Gardening Forum

Kato: You're right about the foliage thing - after all, most perennials only bloom a few weeks at best. The rest of the time we're looking at foliage.

maggiecola: I gotcha covered!

And rooms are great! In addition to the different garden "themes", they give a nice, intimate feeling. I have an odd-shaped property - very long and narrow. I've been able to divide it into rooms with pergolas, screens, a shed, and a small picketed fenced area. Also, using different ground covers - grass, pavers, wood chips, etc. will break up a space visually.

So... I ended up with the "front garden" where all the warm colors are, then a "woodland walk" filled with native wildflowers and foliage plants, next comes the "patio room" where all my hostas and astilbes (and friends) hang out (they say it looks and feels like a living room). Then there's the "pond area" full of tropicals in containers and other odd plants, the "lawn area" with mixed borders, then finally the rose garden complete with picket fence and brick walkways. All this is on an area approx. 30' x 200'!! Yep, they're packed in tight! But it fits all my interests and it's fun to experiment.

pipersville - I, too used to hate the "weird foliage plants" but I'm now hooked as well.


clipped on: 07.16.2006 at 08:59 am    last updated on: 07.16.2006 at 08:59 am

RE: Pulling nutsedge by hand - waste of time? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: texas-weed 7A (Guest) on 07.04.2006 at 11:57 pm in Lawn Care Forum

Yep a complete waist of time. The only organic method is to dig the darn things up nut and all. Otherwise two product called Image and Manage are the only two effective products.


clipped on: 07.05.2006 at 12:12 am    last updated on: 07.05.2006 at 12:12 am

RE: cutting back mums? Now? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: floragal on 07.04.2006 at 10:05 am in Pennsylvania Gardening Forum

Yep! It's time to pinch back the mums! And yes, its done every year. It keeps the plants more compact, increases the blooms, and delays them by a few weeks. Even the growers pinch them back.

Take them down about 1/3, and pinch close to a leaf node to encourage branching (and increased buds). That's it!



clipped on: 07.04.2006 at 01:58 pm    last updated on: 07.04.2006 at 01:59 pm

RE: Any harm in liming in the heat? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: daleintheeast on 06.20.2006 at 12:27 pm in Lawn Care Forum

If you water the lime in, it doesn't matter when you put it down. The important thing is NOT to use hydrated lime (quicklinme). If you use HL, it will burn your lawn if it is not irrigated afterwards.

The best bet is to use pelletized lime (works in a few weeks), which is faster-acting than dolomite limestone with magnesium (a couple months), and ground limestone (several months).


clipped on: 06.21.2006 at 12:27 am    last updated on: 06.21.2006 at 12:28 am

RE: Never heard of pruning technique (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: paparoseman on 04.15.2006 at 02:58 pm in Roses Forum

Right above the highest leaf under the bloom you will see some funny looking narrow leaf things around a quarter inch wide and an inch or so long. That is what they are talking about. Looking at the stem under a bloom you will see a faint line running across the stem just above those, that is the point where a clean break can be made. If you have any hips from last year on a bush look at the point where it is about to break off from the branch and you will know what it looks like.

clipped on: 06.06.2006 at 12:57 am    last updated on: 06.06.2006 at 12:58 am

RE: what to do about my clay soil (Follow-Up #43)

posted by: pls8xx on 06.05.2006 at 10:29 am in Soil Forum

Well folks, I've run a lot of big photos on this thread and it's now a nightmare for those on dialup. Sorry about that. But without the photos I would have zero credibility on this forum, and maybe I still don't.

I don't type or spell well, my word processor is on the blink, and I can't seem to remember where my glasses are anymore. Even if that where not the case, I'm not sure there would be much hope for an old redneck that barely got through highschool English. Gardening is fun. Organizing my thoughts and reflections on close to 50 years of gardening is a bit more difficult.

For anyone still reading this thread I'm going to try to pass on something of benefit.

Most all gardeners have seen soil dry and plants wilt. And some that have been more observent know that as soil dries, plants will lose their vigor long before the wilt stage.

The same thing can be said for oxygen deficiency in soil. Most gardeners have seen the effect of soil saturated with water. Many plant types wilt and die. It's not the water that kills them but a lack of oxygen.

Plants that suffer a more moderate oxygen deficiency don't have any obvious symptoms, but they do lose vigor.

The oxygen level in soil at any given time is affected by three major things, the physical properties of the soil, the
metabolism of the soil bio-mass, and the cultural methods of the gardener. Understand these three things and you will have great insight into why each gardening system sometimes works and why it sometimes doesn't.
I don't have to go far to find an example. Around here, the are many long time gardeners who use old time methods on what is a pretty good topsoil. One thing grown is green beans.

The standard time for planting beans here is between April 10 to the seventeenth. We have a long season here with fall frost in November. You would think that beans could be just as well planted June 1. Not so. But why. Everything is the same except that it might be drier, but the farmers have access to cheap water. Still if they wait til June the result is a crop half of one planted in April.

The answer is oxygen. They don't know it, but they are in a race to complete the crop before oxygen deficiency saps the plant's vigor.

During the winter, soil metabolism slows to a crawl. Oxygen difusion through the soil is greater than that being consumed and all the soil moisture reaches oxygen saturation.

Next the farmer picks a time to plow in spring when the soil moisture is such that the soil can be fluffed up leaving pockets of air through out the soil. The beans are planted.

Water can contain only small amounts of oxygen and if not replentished is soon used up. For a while, the traped air and oxygen difusion from the surface is sufficient. The plants do well.

Then things begin to change. The soil bio-mass wakes up from it's winter sleep. Some of this bio-mass uses oxygen. The air pockets in the soil begin to slowly colapse. The replentishment of oxygen in the soil moisture wanes.

A gradient begins to form in the soil oxygen levels. Saturated at the surface and diminishing with soil depth. Most of the excess oxygen has been used and the soil is becoming dependant on surface difusion for oxygen.
Oxygen deficiency begins in the lower part of the root zone. The roots there lose their ability to function properly. The plants response is to grow new roots higher in the soil.

Since the roots are taking oxygen from the soil, the greater density of roots higher in the soil means that oxygen gets used up at even shallower depths. The oxygen deficiency advances upward in the soil. It's a vicious cycle, the roots being forced ever more close to the surface, restricked to less and less soil volume for water and nutrients.

Gardeners hope to finish the beans before the root zone gets too restricted to affect crop yield. An April planting does, a June planting doesn't.

Now if this soil is amended such that oxygen difusion from the surface is sufficient to meet the needs of the bio-mass and the plants too, then a June planting does as good as an April one.

There are few if any natural soils, other than sand, that have the perfect oxygen transfer properties. Most need correction. Keep in mind the three major influences of soil oxygen, the physical properties of the soil, the
metabolism of the soil bio-mass, and the cultural methods of the gardener.

If the physical properties of the soil are far off the ideal, they have to be fixed. Correction may be easy or hard, but it has to be done or you will never post the type photos I have.

To have good permeability and oxygen transfer from the surface, there must be interconnecting airways from the surface to deep in the soil. This can be achieved and maintained in several ways.

One way is to add sand or some other mineral combination in a way that interconnecting voids are created in the soil. Another is to add compost or some other spongy type material where, as the water is removed from the material, a vacuum then sucks air into the soil. Another is the management of soil life such as worms to form and maintain airways through the soil.

A crust that forms at the soil surface can impede oxygen transfusion. Reformulate the soil mix so it won't crust. Or break the crust every time it forms. Or mulch with a material that will keep the crust from forming.


clipped on: 06.07.2006 at 12:19 am    last updated on: 06.07.2006 at 12:19 am

RE: Grub-Ex and Milorganite in the next two weeks? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: daleintheeast on 06.21.2006 at 04:08 pm in Lawn Care Forum

As for grub control, I believe you are about 3 weeks too late, to kill the larvae. It appears that you also are confused about the length of time the lawn can sustain without food/fertilizer (your words).

Grub control should have been put down in late May/early June (May 27 to June 3). What you have now are matured larvae/young grubs doing a number on your grass roots. Wait till late July/early August to apply Dylox to kill the adults. Merit won't work by then.

I assume your lawn is cool season grass, which does not thrive in the summer months. Cool season lawn should not be fertilized in the summer months. You can use Milorganite but the reason in doing so is to avoid inducing Brown Patch.

Lastly, don't get hung up with the green color. This time of the year, most lawns fade in their color. Without irrigation, some lawns go dormant (think brown color). Using organic feeds, however, a lawn does stay green longer and does not require as much irrigation.


clipped on: 06.21.2006 at 07:48 pm    last updated on: 06.21.2006 at 07:49 pm

RE: Need June blooms... what's flowering in your garden? (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: earthlydelights on 06.08.2006 at 07:16 pm in Pennsylvania Gardening Forum

carol, no, cleome is sometimes called a spider flower, but they have nothing in common except for green foliage.

my coreopsis is starting to open, my asiatics are going crazy. a few daylilies have opened. my peonies are so sad, the storms ruined them just as they were getting started, i'll miss that scent under the window.

some iris are still hanging on, veronica is just starting, salvia, dianthus, anenome, yarrow, sweet william, and a lonely shasta daisy bud.



clipped on: 06.10.2006 at 03:44 pm    last updated on: 06.10.2006 at 03:44 pm

RE: Need June blooms... what's flowering in your garden? (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: staci on 06.06.2006 at 06:01 pm in Pennsylvania Gardening Forum

Columbines, Lupines, Iris, Dame's Rocket, Anemone, Clematis, Corn Flower, Peonies, Coreopsis, Dianthus, Spiderwort, Siberian Iris.


clipped on: 06.10.2006 at 03:41 pm    last updated on: 06.10.2006 at 03:42 pm

RE: Need June blooms... what's flowering in your garden? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: murial on 06.05.2006 at 07:29 pm in Pennsylvania Gardening Forum

Right now my False Indigo is blooming more purple than indigo, along with what my friend from Wisconsin sent me, she calls Bath Pinks which are light pink. After moving and moving them, they are finally happy in full sun.

Red Coral Bells have been blooming for about a week now along with the poppies. Happier now that they've been weeded.

Orange Agastache just opened up today. I planted them a few weeks ago. Hopefully as rabbit resistant as I've been promised!

Also my purple Iris that I brought with me when we lived on the Delaware. A little slice to remind me.

We have deer in our garden too, but they seem to like my Yucca and Hostas the best. I've surrounded a lot of the plants with herbs which seems to work for me.

Still have some trees yet to leaf out entirely though.


clipped on: 06.10.2006 at 03:40 pm    last updated on: 06.10.2006 at 03:40 pm

RE: Integrated Organic and Synthetic Lawn Care (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: rcnaylor on 06.05.2006 at 04:08 pm in Lawn Care Forum

I use exactly that, an integrated approach.

First, I use almost entirely organic fertilizers to feed the microherd and fungi. Two apps of meals in the fall and one in the spring. But, I put out a chem N fertizer as my last fertilization of my COOL season grasses after the first good freeze in the Fall. They tell me studies show that is the best for over winter root developement and that organic fertilizers just aren't likely to break down and be available in the root zone at that time. Since I have started that my grass has looked greener all winter and started out much stronger in the Spring.

I use no weed killers. No fungicides (frankly don't much need them) and no chems EXCEPT that I use a pre-emergent to keep down the poa annua. Put that out in the fall and spring. I would use CGM, but, the cost is just too high for my sized yard.

Mowing high and timely, watering infrequently and deeply, feeding the soil organisms and giving the grass with three rounds of orgainic fertilizers and a little soluable Nitrogen in the fall and pre-emergents to keep poa in check seems to work better than any other approach. I've been all chemicals in the past, and that was a disaster. I've been all organic, and that left some room for improvement, in my opinion.

Using both, and chems in great moderation (only 1 pound per thousand of the soluable N all year), I think I have the healthiest best looking yard I've ever had.


clipped on: 06.05.2006 at 08:41 pm    last updated on: 06.05.2006 at 08:42 pm