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RE: When & how to prune my Nelly Moser (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: gardengal48 on 03.22.2013 at 01:39 pm in Clematis Forum

How hard did you prune last year? It is generally recommended that any type of clematis get hard pruned (down to the first set of buds/leaf axils) for the first couple of seasons in the ground. That encourages a strong root system, multiple stems emerging form the root crown and a greater resistance to wilt. If it wasn't pruned hard last season, I'd do so this year.

Now is typically the time to prune most clematis types - when you would prune roses or when the forsythia is blooming. Many folks also fertilize at this time as well.

Nelly is a pruning group 2 clematis. After establishment (a couple of seasons of hard pruning) you want to prune lightly, removing about 16-18" from the top of the vine and cleaning up any dead or tangled stems. After the initial late spring/early summer bloom flush you can prune again lightly to encourage a late summer rebloom.

The hard pruning your vine should receive now will not eliminate the early flowering but only delay it a bit. I also would not be overly concerned if your vine doesn't produce as many flowers as you would like - it takes from 3-5 years for them to establish well, mature and start putting on a good show.


Nelly Moser: how to prun
clipped on: 05.19.2013 at 12:15 am    last updated on: 05.19.2013 at 12:16 am

RE: WANTED: how do u root clematis (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: chere on 10.14.2009 at 02:44 pm in Clematis Forum

This is how I did it. I get a 4-6 inch pot with damp potting soil and set it next to the host plant. Take a green vine, scrap a little off of the side place the scrapped part facing down on the soil, put soil on top,(you might want to put something on top of it to keep it in the soil in the pot). keep the soil damp. Wait about a month or two until roots develop and then cut off from parent plant. The cuttings bloomed two years later.



Rooting clematis--side by side
clipped on: 05.18.2013 at 05:22 pm    last updated on: 05.18.2013 at 05:24 pm

RE: How easily do clematis root from cuttings? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: boday on 05.09.2009 at 04:53 pm in Clematis Forum

If they're haven't wilted they should be fine. It's springtime. Most of the problems are that people get impatient, don't use sterile soil or maintain moisture. I've taken cuttings from an everblooming hydrangea or roses in the spring dusted them with hormone powder stuck them in the ground and they took root. There is a site on this forum on propagation, lots of good ideas.


Clematis rootings
clipped on: 05.18.2013 at 04:45 pm    last updated on: 05.18.2013 at 04:45 pm

RE: How easily do clematis root from cuttings? (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: nckvilledudes on 05.15.2009 at 07:53 pm in Clematis Forum

The procedure that boday describes sounds more like layering to me than starting clematis from cuttings. When you do clematis from cuttings, you take stems of still alive plants and put them into some sort of starting medium and they root in the medium. In layering, you put a vine or portions of vine underground and roots develop at the nodes. Once the plants get a sufficient root system, you cut the portions apart and pot them up. Starting clematis from cuttings is much more difficult than doing so by layering.

Congrats on the cuttings you got from your sentimental plant Macky.


Clematis layering propagation
clipped on: 05.18.2013 at 04:42 pm    last updated on: 05.18.2013 at 04:44 pm

RE: How easily do clematis root from cuttings? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: boday on 05.09.2009 at 11:12 am in Clematis Forum

I live in zone 4 so what I often do is in the fall I drop the clematis in a trench dug along the wall and cover it up with soil. This gives the plant a step up in the spring. If I delay digging it up each node will send up a mini plant through the soil. At that point I cut as many as I want, scar the under side at the nodes, dust with growth powder and plant in a potting tray, sterilized, moistened soil. I then use a dry cleaning bag to create a mini greenhouse and place it in the shade and check periodically for soil moisture. (A translucent small storage box from Wal Mart would probably work just as well). Most will root and if they're green they're growing. A month or so later I'll plant them in an out of the way area and ignore them till next year. This method gives you lots of plants to work with and you're not babysitting a bunch of stems that are very delicate. The thing is that this is time intensive (two years to a respectable plant) and buying a plant is quicker gratification. But plants are like people, some are better looking and hardier than others. These are the ones I propagate. Someone will show up and admire your clematis. At that point you go to your patch, pot one up and present it to them. Or if you have a long chain link fence in two years you have a blooming hedge.


Rooting clematis from cuttings
clipped on: 05.18.2013 at 02:52 am    last updated on: 05.18.2013 at 02:53 am

RE: Soil Prep (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: dchall_san_antonio on 04.30.2013 at 10:18 pm in Lawn Care Forum

Had you done any prior reading in this forum you would not have mentioned rototilling. Rototilling is fine for a veggie garden (not really but the reasoning is beside my point), but NEVER in preparation for a lawn. Why? Because you will want to walk on the lawn later on. When you rototill you fluff up what was once a stabilized soil bed. That means it had already settled and was not going to settle any further. When you fluff it up, then it has to settle again in a process that takes about 3 years. No matter how level you level it after tilling, the solid soil underneath the fluffy soil is not level. That bumpy lower level is where the top will settle to. When it finally settles back down, it will be bumpy. It will be so bumpy that you will write in to this forum to find out "how to level your bermuda lawn" (quotes indicate a good search term for you to learn more about it). Bermuda lawns show bumps the worst of all lawns because they are mowed so short.

Also forget about bringing in any new topsoil UNLESS you need to change your drainage. Why? Because new topsoil ALWAYS changes your drainage. ...and often for the worse.

Covering with straw is a local option. There are a minority of locations in the country where they routinely cover new seed with straw. It doesn't seem to hurt anything but causes confusion when people want to rake up the straw and don't know when.

I'm not sure what the gurus say about starter fertilizer, but if you don't have any roots in the ground, any fertilizer is wasted. If it takes 3 weeks for the first seed to germinate, that is 3 weeks of fertilizer washed away.

I would offer option number 3 as follows. Apply organic fertilizer in May, in June rent a slit seeder and run it over the lawn criss cross to chew up everything to a depth of about 1/8 inch into the soil, use the same slit seeder to apply the seed, roll the seed down with a rented roller, water 3x per day for 5 minutes each time (depending on your sprinkler output), set your mower for 2 inches, mow when it needs it, and back off on the water frequency when 80% of the seed sprouts. Back way off after you start to mow. Ideally you will need 1 inch of water per week in the hottest heat of summer. Apply that inch all at once and do not spread it out over 7 days. After you have mowed the grass for the second time, you can fertilize knowing that you have roots to take up the fertilizer.

The organic fertilizer will do more to improve your soil than anything else you have mentioned. Adding chemicals does not help the soil biology. Poor soil is a result of not enough beneficial fungi in the soil. Organic fertilizer helps with that.

Find the Bermuda Bible online and memorize it. Well kept bermuda is a tedious and expensive turf to manage. Good luck with it.


Soil prep: why not to rototill new lawn, how to sow seed, fertilizer, etc.
clipped on: 05.01.2013 at 01:22 am    last updated on: 05.01.2013 at 01:23 am

RE: Update on using cornmeal to prevent blackspot (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: Dchall_San_Antonio on 06.10.2002 at 12:22 pm in Garden Experiments Forum

This is what Texas A&M University says about corn meal...

Biological Control of Soilborne Fungi
It is known that certain fungal species in the genus Trichoderma feed on mycelium and sclerotia of Sclerotinia minor. Sclerotium rolfsii and Rhizoctonia sp. All peanut fields in Texas tested to date have a natural population of Trichoderma. For several years, tests have been conducted in Texas using corn meal to stimulate Trichoderma development as a way to control the major soilborne disease fungi. When yellow corn meal is applied to fields in the presence of moist surface soil, Trichoderma builds up very rapidly over a 5 to 10 day period. The resulting high Trichoderma population can destroy vast amounts of Sclerotinia, Sclerotium and Rhizoctonia. This enhanced, natural biological control process is almost identical to the processes that occur when crop rotation is practiced. The level of control with corn meal is influenced by: 1) organic matter source 2) soil moisture, 3) temperature, and 4) pesticides used. Seasonal applications of certain fungicides may inhibit Trichoderma. Testing will continue to determine the rates and application methods that will give consistent, economical control.

Here's the link to the whole article...

2002 Peanut Disease and Nematode Control Recommendations

Our local (San Antonio) organic gardeners are reporting that corn meal is working for many more fungi (including toenail fungus). A few (very few) ranchers and vets are reporting on the use of corn meal spilled into horse and cattle bedding to reduce the time leg wounds take to heal.

Regarding the nitrogen content of grains: I'll have to bookmark it and save it next time I see it. I've found websites that report that stuff for oats, alfalfa, wheat, corn, soy, sorghum, rice, etc. and, as I recall, all of them were in the area of 10% protein. I don't know how protein converts to nitrogen. Corn gluten meal was also listed and was in the 10% range. Corn is the product that seems to be the most highly processed. Not all processed corn products have all that nitrogen, but most that retain the corn kernal in some ground or cracked form retain the N. Certainly corn cobs don't.

I think the point about the nitrogen is really off the theme of this thread. Any ground grain can be used as a fertilizer applied at a rate of about 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Twice as much won't hurt anything (maybe your wallet). Less will give you less results.


clipped on: 04.22.2013 at 03:44 am    last updated on: 04.22.2013 at 03:51 am

RE: Reputable Seed Dealers? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: tiemco on 03.26.2013 at 09:45 pm in Lawn Care Forum

Many people have 100% KBG lawns, and to be honest, those lawns generally look the best when properly maintained. Using 3 cultivars of different subclasses gives you the genetic diversity that can help prevent disease from killing your whole lawn, but it can still happen. Thankfully there are some very disease resistant cultivars available today. A few decades ago this wasn't the case, and disease was usually a yearly issue. Mixed grass lawns can be very nice, and have great genetic diversity, but in terms of appearance, they are generally not as nice as 100% KBG. It's your call, but they can have problems as well. Another point to consider is water. All grass needs it, and in the first year of KBG, you don't want to stress your new grass with drought. True, some cultivars are more drought tolerant, but if you want a KBG lawn, you will have to water for about a month to establish it, and provide irrigation when mother nature does not.

One of the best cultivars available today is Bewitched, it should be part of your blend. It performs well across the board, and has a nice dark green color. For your compact midnight, you can basically throw a dart, as most are very good and perform similarly. Midnight is the standard and it is great, but so is Award, Alexa II, NuDestiny, Granite, Impact etc. The third one that many people like to use is Prosperity. It is classified as a compact America, but it exhibits very dark color, which isn't typical of that subclass. It doesn't score very well in the disease trials however, so it's a trade off. Another one that is fairly new that might be a good fit is Blackberry. Unfortunately there isn't any NTEP data, but it's techsheet looks good, and the grower has many very good cultivars. Here are some other compact Americas that are used often: Kingfisher, Unique, Boutique, Showcase, Bedazzled, and America (of course). Another option is to use Zinfandel, which is a mid-Atlantic. This is a very new cultivar that tested very well, and has good disease tolerance. For seed sellers the internet is the best source. Williams Lawn Seed is very good, ask for Dennis. The other ones I mentioned are good as well. Seed Superstore carries great seeds, but they are very pricey, so shop around. If you can, ask for sod quality. It's not a guarantee you will get weed free seeds, but it's worth the extra money.


KBG: over 100 cultivars. Best to blend 3 cultivars from 3 diff subclasses.

Names of reputable seed dealers.

clipped on: 04.19.2013 at 12:56 am    last updated on: 04.19.2013 at 12:57 am

RE: Overseed only with KBG? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: tiemco on 07.21.2011 at 08:25 am in Lawn Care Forum

Most Tall Fescue/KBG mixes are in the ratio 90:10 or 80:20 BY WEIGHT. Tall fescue seeds are relatively large, 100-200K seeds per pound, while KBG seeds are much smaller 1-2 million per pound. If you do the math you will see that the ratio of seeds per pound is close to 50:50. KBG takes much longer than TTTF to germinate. TTTF takes about a week, while KBG takes 2-3, and grows very slowly. If you stop watering or taper it off because the TTTF is nice and tall your KBG will suffer and you might lose most or all of it. You certainly can overseed with just straight KBG, I would do about 1 pound per 1000 square feet. I would also select a cultivar that has a high heat tolerance like Solar Eclipse, or one of the Mid-Atlantic types, which are more heat tolerant than many of the standard cultivars.


How to overseed with KBG or fescue mixes? Newer Cultivars of KBG.
Where to buy premium grass seed.
clipped on: 04.16.2013 at 10:13 pm    last updated on: 04.18.2013 at 11:40 pm

RE: New House & Dead Sod (ON) (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: dchall_san_antonio on 04.18.2013 at 08:50 pm in Lawn Care Forum

Just to calibrate your new soil, you should not pile it up higher than the surrounding concrete. It should be just about at the same level. As the roots enlarge they will raise the sod slightly above the level of the concrete. 12 yards sounds like a LOT of soil.

Where did you read that you should seed grass in the spring? Tiemco only touched on the problems with spring seeding. If you are going to go ahead and do it now, you might as well use inexpensive seed like rye. Then in the fall (August for you), you can reseed with a much better seed like Kentucky bluegrass and/or fescue. The problem that tiemco didn't get much into is that the seed you put down now will suffer from the summer heat stress. But that might be minimal in your area so you are taking a chance. What does not suffer from the heat is crabgrass. Crabgrass is designed for summer heat and it's germinating right now. I you try to germinate lawn grass at the same time as crabgrass is germinating, the crabgrass will win.


Difficulties of Spring seeding--summer stress & crabgrass wins!
clipped on: 04.18.2013 at 09:59 pm    last updated on: 04.18.2013 at 10:04 pm

RE: Using a professional? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: grass1950 on 08.22.2012 at 09:11 pm in Lawn Care Forum

Measure how much water your irrigation system puts out on each zone in one hour. You can do this by just putting out a couple of tuna or cat food cans under the sprinkler canopy. If you don't have a cat or you don't like tuna, you can buy little inexpensive plastic rain guages - 2 0r 3 and use those. You can do your own re-seeding, it just takes a bit of work, or if you prefer re-hire the original company if you can afford them and you were happy. Whichever you do: Apply Ortho Weed B Gon Max with Crabgrass Control (needs to be done 2 wks prior to seeding) to kill off the weeds in preparation of seeding which should to be done the first week of September give or take.
The hard part of re-seeding only requires that you take off any dead matter (dead grass and weeds) so that bare soil is exposed. Short version: 1.Kill the weeds. 2. Mow the lawn down to 1-1 1/2". 2. Rake the dead matter up to expose bare soil (hand rake or rent a power rake). 3. Spread seed (you can just broadcast spread it or use a slit seeder to seed) 4. Cover seed with a thin layer of topdressing (common topdressing for seeding is peat moss- a bag will cover a little over 1K sq ft) 5. Apply a starter fertilizer and water 3- 4 times a day just enough to keep seed moist) 6. once seed germinates change to watering 2x a day for 20-25 min (depends on how mach water the sprinler puts out) Once you mow for the third time you water once a week for how ever long it takes to put down about 1" of water. 6. Apply andother dose of Starter fert. People here can advise you on what to do this late fall and what care regiment you should do next year for a healthy good looking lawn.


Reseeding, apply thin layer top soil (peat moss), starter fertilizer, water 3-4x day until germinates. Then 2x day for 20-25 min.

Once mowed 3x, water 1x wk @ 1" water.

Apply another dose starter fert.

clipped on: 04.18.2013 at 02:46 pm    last updated on: 04.18.2013 at 02:51 pm

RE: Using a professional? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: dchall_san_antonio on 08.22.2012 at 07:59 pm in Lawn Care Forum

You can handle the entire care program yourself. The reason you would want to is that it seems most lawn care companies scrimp on fertilizer by using liquids when solid fertilizer is required. Most lawn mowing companies insist on mowing too short. And neither one of the above will encourage you to water properly.

When did you have the lawn seeded with the new soil? Do you know what kind of seed they used (Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, and rye are the main choices)? It could be that your results would be considered 'normal' if you seeded in the spring. Certainly your results from the summer slit seeding would be considered normal. The only worse time than spring (to seed cool season grasses) is summer.

How often do you water and for how long?
When were the last two times the lawn was fertilized and with what (if you know)?

Hopefully you have 60/40 mix of crabgrass and Kentucky bluegrass. Crabgrass is fixin' to die out for the winter. KBG will return but fescue and rye - once they die they are out and must be reseeded. KBG will go dormant, which resembles dead grass but is just a dormant growth stage. Lower temps and more moisture will bring it back.

Are any of your neighbors having success with their lawns? If so then I'm going to suggest postponing a soil test. If several of the lawns are mostly dead or weeds, then you should get a soil test for sure.

Do you have a brick factory nearby? Or was there ever one nearby? If so then you might actually have clay. If not, then do a jar test. For the jar test you need a straight sided jar and about half the jar's capacity of soil. Put the soil in the jar and measure the height of the soil with a ruler. Take a picture of the soil with the ruler next to it. Then fill the jar with water and a drop or two of liquid soap. Put the lid on the jar and shake it like crazy to break up any and all clods in the jar. Then put the jar down on a table. In 2 minutes, put the ruler up to the jar and take another picture. Come back in 2 hours and take another picture. Then come back in 2 days and take the last picture. This simple test is one of the most reliable ways to determine your soil content. Everything that settled out in the first 2 minutes was sand and rubble. Everything that piled up on top of that in the next 2 hours was silt. Everything that settled on top of that in the next 2 days would be heavier mineral particles. What you will be left with is either cloudy/murky water or water that you can see through. If you can see through the jar at all, then you have very little to no clay at all. If the water still looks like mud, then you have the clay you think you have. I'm betting you don't have much clay. You can check this out here. They say the clay will have settled out in 2 days. Try it for yourself.

Just to summarize Lawn Care 101, water deeply and infrequently; mulch mow at your mower's highest setting (we can talk about that); fertilize with chemicals once in late spring and twice in the fall (or with organic fertilizer you can do it in early spring, late spring, (or the early to mid/late spring if you are an old fan of Steve Martin), any time in the summer, and any time in the fall). I would strongly suggest using organic fertilizer at least once a year, every year, to keep the soil happy. I can expand on any of that later if you have not already found it here in this forum.


Home testing soil: jar & dirt for 2 days.
clipped on: 04.18.2013 at 02:39 pm    last updated on: 04.18.2013 at 02:41 pm

RE: Wheatgrass lawn? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: bpgreen on 07.12.2010 at 07:41 pm in Lawn Care Forum

Fairway and Ephraim are improved varieties of crested wheatgrass. Crested wheatgrass is not native to North America, but is well adapted to the the arid/semi arid areas of the intermountain west. Crested wheatgrass comes from Siberia originally and was introduced to North America in the early 20th century. Older varieties are bunch grasses, but improved varieties such as Fairway and Ephraim spread by rhizomes (although you may need to water a little to get the spreading to occur)

Western and Streambank wheatgrass are native to the area and both are rhizomatous.

Western wheatgrass is more difficult to establish and looks less like a lawn grass than the other options because it is almost blue in color and has slightly wider blades. The advantage it has is that it develops really deep roots and stays green much longer.

Crested wheatgrass is probably the fastest and easiest to establish and streambank wheatgrass falls somewhere between the other two.

If it's going to be a play area for kids, I'd be a little wary of clover for two reasons. For one thing, it will attract bees. For another, it can stain clothes. If you decide to use it, you may want to use Palestine strawberry clover. Strawberry clover is similar to Dutch White clover in appearance and growth (the flowers have a slight strawberry shade to them). It does better in alkaline soils than DWC, but isn't as drought tolerant (but Palestine is the most drought tolerant of the strawberry clovers).

I wouldn't till, especially on the slope, where it may cause erosion. If you can water to establish the seed, you could plant right after the heat breaks. Depending on your first frost, that may be pushing it for the western wheatgrass, but the crested and streambank germinate faster. I'd water for three weeks (adjusting for rain) even if you see germination before that. You'll want to try to keep the surface moist the whole time if possible.

One option might be to get a little crested and streambank wheatgrass down to hold the soil in place, then do a dormant seeding with all three. Or you may opt to skip the western wheatgrass altogether. The crested and streambank wheatgrass probably look more like traditional lawn grasses than the western wheatgrass does.

If your precipitation patterns are like ours (and it sounds like they are), if you don't water at all, your lawn will likely go domrant in mid to late July and spring back in September. Last year, I watered three times. So far this year, I've watered once. I'll probably water again toward the end of July (unless we get some rain before then) and then once in August. My lawn stays mostly green if I water it three times a summer. I'm hoping that as the grass matures, I may be able to cut back to two times a summer, but that may be wishful thinking.

Once you get these grasses established, you'll want to make sure you don't overwater them. You don't have to get as extreme as I have with water, but I wouldn't water more than every other week or they'll probably suffer and maybe even die. They can withstand the spring and fall water they'll get from nature, but really do best when they don't get too much.


Different kinds of wheatgrass lawns in arid areas.
clipped on: 04.14.2013 at 06:41 pm    last updated on: 04.14.2013 at 06:42 pm