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Old 03-18-2008, 04:34 PM   #1
tovaxin_lab_rat
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Arrow Gardening Tips and Tricks!

Tis the season to get started with your garden and landscape ideas. Brain and I put our collective heads together (now that in and of itself is quite a feat since we both have holes in our heads!) and came up with an idea to have a question and answer thread for you.

Brain is a fantastic gardener. She can grow the most gorgeous veggies and perennials of anyone I know! The pictures she has posted over the years have been spectacular! If we lived in the same town, she would be on my crew!

I have a Bachelor's Degree in Horticulture and own my own landscape design business. Over the course of time, I have learned what grows and what doesn't, how to make your yard work for you, and will answer questions about trees, plants, shrubs, bugs/pests, pruning, irrigation, etc. If I don't know the answer, I will tell you. But, I will also look it up and not keep you hanging!

So, as a team, Brain and I will do our best to see if we can help you with some of your questions. Feel free to post pictures of your gardens, plants, veggies, perennials, etc., as that's what this will be all about...

PS, I am also an arborist - someone knowledgeable about trees. I have been growing deciduous landscape trees for 12 years.

Welcome to our Q&A thread!!

Over to you Brain!
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:43 PM   #2
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So you have Flygirl, for your professional assisatnce and me, her unedjumacated sidekick!


I've been gardening about 20 years. I moved in here and curiosity get the best of me. What is all this stuff, coming out of the ground?

I had a mint bed and all kinds of bulbs - COOL! Apple and a pear tree, all kinds of stuff.

Over the years I've tried one of everything.



I am now trying to do most of it as naturally as possible. I compost, so I make my own dirt. I use mostly vinegar and epsome salts because pesticides and that stuff is bad for me, my family and pets, and all the wild things.

One thing I wanted to ask you about was my roses, Flygirl. They're really giving me grief lately. I'm thinking it's what's splashing up on them when it rains that is causing a lot of the black spot and mildew.

What would you suggest as mulch? I usually use shredded cyprus. Is there something better? I was thinking of doing a low ground cover - Dragon's Blood Sedum - instead.
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Old 03-18-2008, 05:55 PM   #3
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When is the best time to plant hydrangias? I have one in a small pot and want to plant it outside but don't know when - and where? In the sun or in a shady spot?

Thanks!!
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Old 03-18-2008, 06:06 PM   #4
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this is awesome!!! thank you both so much.

i'm going to have a balcony garden this year. i'll have lots of questions as to what is best to plant here in north texas.
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Old 03-18-2008, 06:24 PM   #5
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Oh Wow, this is great!! My question---I have several peony plants and peony trees. Two years ago we had a very wet summer. My peony plant leaves and stalks started turning whitish grey, and then got black spots all over. I cut them back to the ground. Last year they came back up with the same problem. I cut them back again.Thank goodness my peony tress are still healthy.

Is this fungus, and how do I get rid of it? Or, do you think this is some other problem?They are just starting to come up again. They didn't bloom that well last year either.
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Old 03-18-2008, 06:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herekitty1960 View Post
When is the best time to plant hydrangias? I have one in a small pot and want to plant it outside but don't know when - and where? In the sun or in a shady spot?

Thanks!!
It depends on what type of Hydrangea it is. Is this a Hydrangea that was given to you as a gift from a florist? If so, it may not survive outside. Some of these types of plants are "specialty" plants and don't usually survive outside.

Although you live in a generally warmer climate, you can try growing it outside if you wait til the weather warms up a bit more and the ground warms up. Plant it in an area that is well drained, but not dry, and will get some sun in the morning, but not the hot afternoon sun.

Or just repot it and keep it as a houseplant.
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Old 03-18-2008, 06:31 PM   #7
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What a nice thing to do ladies. Ill be back with some ?s.

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Old 03-18-2008, 06:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluenurse View Post
Oh Wow, this is great!! My question---I have several peony plants and peony trees. Two years ago we had a very wet summer. My peony plant leaves and stalks started turning whitish grey, and then got black spots all over. I cut them back to the ground. Last year they came back up with the same problem. I cut them back again.Thank goodness my peony tress are still healthy.

Is this fungus, and how do I get rid of it? Or, do you think this is some other problem?They are just starting to come up again. They didn't bloom that well last year either.
Peonies --- Tree Peonies should never be cut back. At least that's my opinion from my training. If you have some sort of fungus on them, then that should be treated and the infected leaves and stalks should be removed and destroyed.

Shrub peonies should be cut back every year. What you are describing sounds like a fungus. Make sure when you do your spring clean up, that all of the mulch and dead leaves and stalks from last season have been completely removed and replaced. The fungus is probably still growing in the mulch from the previous season.

During this season, if you see any leaves or stalks appearing with these same black spots, remove them immediately. Be sure that water is not splashing onto the plants.
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Old 03-18-2008, 06:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
One thing I wanted to ask you about was my roses, Flygirl. They're really giving me grief lately. I'm thinking it's what's splashing up on them when it rains that is causing a lot of the black spot and mildew.

What would you suggest as mulch? I usually use shredded cyprus. Is there something better? I was thinking of doing a low ground cover - Dragon's Blood Sedum - instead.
Roses don't like water splashed on their leaves. Either from overhead watering or rain or splashing water. This does cause blackspot. As for the powdery mildew, this can also be caused by too much water and too much mulch around the base of the roses. I don't use too much mulch around my roses. I keep an area away from the roots. This allows air to circulate and keeps them from getting too much water and keeps the soil from staying wet. Roses don't like their feet wet.

I live in the high desert (3500' elevation) and my roses are in a bed with hot southwest exposure. They get about 20 minutes of drip line water each day and do just fine. We get about 10 inches of water a YEAR so as you can see, my roses are not water soaked at all. Last year, they were totally neglected b/c I was not well most of the summer. They didn't even get a good pruning and they just thrived! Neglect does them well!

My advice on roses - don't fuss over them. Fertilize them with a good systemic and prune them in the Spring, cut the flowers when you want something to look at, but otherwise, just leave them alone!

I've got a good au naturale recipe for aphids...
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:52 PM   #10
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Thanks! Neglect I can do, lol.

I don't water them much - we usually get enough rain for roses. And aphids don't seem to bother them since I started putting the epsome salts around the roots. You just have to add more when the rain washes it away.
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