such a late garden!

greylady_gardenerOctober 24, 2008

Was it just me or did anyone else find their garden was very late in developing this year? Most things in the garden were so late to bloom, that they are pretty well done and no seeds. I did get some seeds from a few plants, but even they were sparse as some plants just didn't have many blooms. One example is my orange/fuschia four o'clocks--Nice plant--few blooms--total mush from the frost right now and TWO seeds that I took out of the mushy plant this morning.

Some of it was my fault as I got some things in late. Most of it doesn't really matter as I have extra seeds of some plants that I will plant again next year in the hope that they will be faster in growing and setting seeds before the frost kills them. There were just a few that I either have very few or none at all to try again. I am bringing some of them that are in pots into the house so that they can finish the seed development.

Anyone else experience this?

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I can't say that my garden was late

Had lots of four oclocks that came up from seeds left in the ground overwinter

I ahve seen that orange fuschia four o'clock it is nice

I am in Barrie which is fairly cool

Have some rose blooms yet not great looking blooms but none the less blooms

What are you bringing in to try to get seed.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 7:53PM
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I have never had volunteers from 4 o'clocks. I have to start them in pots and I think that is one of the reasons that mine always tend to be smaller plants. This year though they were smaller and much later flowering and seeding. The orange/fuschia one had only two ripe seeds; the rest were still green when the frost turned the plant to mush.

I brought in pots with gomphrena(bright magenta colour) and a couple of kinds of zinnias. I am also hoping to get some seeds from an annual phlox called Isabellina. It was a very pretty pale yellow and flowered very nicely but hasn't put out any seeds so least that I can see.
Roses always surprise me. Sometimes they are still nice when the snow finally comes. :)

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 9:28PM
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gg: I wintersowed my Four O'clocks and they were about 4" when I put them out. I still didn't get any seeds from them. Thankfully I have seeds left from last year. I did dig up the tubers and will store them over winter to see how they do. I've finished collecting seeds from my other plants and everything else came thru for me. Marg

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 8:36AM
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Hi Marg.
I will probably try and dig the tubers also. I know that it is a way to keep them, but I never think of it.
I had received a limelight at our exchange this year and it grew but was very small. I have some seeds from it but not many. I have two neighbours that grow the beautiful fuschia ones and they have hundreds of seeds drop every year....also LOTS of volunteers....which do not transplant very well.
My malva Zebrina barely started flowering before the frost, so no seeds from them. My hibiscus opened its' first flower on the day that we got our first (light) frost.
It has been a very strange year in my garden! :)

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 6:32PM
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What is the limelight plant.
Odd then that some gardens have volunteers and others do not.

My Malva Zebrina was flowering for quite a lengthy time and there where volunteers of that that came up as well

Do you mean the hardy hibiscus such as disco bell. I planted two of them this year and hope they will do well next year.

I have been picking up the bagged leaves from my neigbhours and dumpng them on the flower beds.

I know it might be a bit early but it is what I have done

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 9:09PM
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Hi Diane,
The limelight is a four o'clock also. It has bright chartreuse/lime leaves and neon pink flowers...very pretty and bright.
I grew some hardy hibiscus 'Carolina mix', from seed last summer(2007), and they flowered this year. They are only supposed to get about three feet or so. They are still much smaller than that....the larger of the two (about 18-20 inches) got about four blooms at different times.....the smaller (about twelve inches) got one bloom. They were both the same colour--white with rose centre--I was hoping they would both be different, but I am happy that they are doing so well...I will just have to plant more seeds to see if I can get other colours. I did get some seeds in an exchange that were the dark pink, but they didn't grow.I have two large trees in my front yard...I just have to let the leaves fall and they cover the garden....In the back yard, the leaves come from the neighbour behind me....huge tree and lots of leaves...yesterday it looked like it was raining leaves! :)
I have several plants that are still in pots that I have to get sunk into the veg. garden as soon as I can get it cleaned is small (thankfully!) I only grew tomatoes, peppers and some herbs, so not much to clean out.
I hope to have the time and energy to do the major changes that I have been trying to make to my gardens over the past couple of years.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 8:44AM
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I am surprised that the hardy hibiscus you planted from summer of 2007 grew so well that it actually flowered this year.
That was interesting.

Funny isn't it, but not really so funny, how it does seem to take more energy that we sometimes seem to have to get all the ideas, that we have done.

I suppose having more knowledge of gardening, and more time, that we get more ideas.

I know I sure do have lots of good ideas, for my property here.

It seems though, that it takes so much longer to get the work done.

I noticed your birthday is March 24th mine is March 26th.I will b e a legit senior citizen this March when I will turn 65.

That limelight does sound nice I will look on line for a photo of it.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 7:31AM
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I had a Disco Belle Hibiscus when I lived in Bowmanville. It grew well the first year so I didn't bother to bring it in. It survived the first winter, but then we didn't have a bad winter that year. The second year I decided to leave it out again and it did not survive, maybe I should have mulched it! That was just my experience with it. Marg

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 8:48AM
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Well now I am starting to doubt myself! :) I really thought that I started the hibiscus from seed in the spring of 2007.....hmmm I will have to think hard about that.
The largest one is planted right beside the composter...the smaller one is planted at our trailer which is about an hour away on lake Huron. It is planted in sandy soil, but I amended the hole with topsoil and compost when I planted it. I did fertilize that one this summer, but not the one planted by the composter.

energy Diane?? I wish I had the energy I had a few years ago! LOL! My garden would be amazing! It will never be what is is in my imagination, but it is fun working away at it every year. I have a few years to go to be a legit SS, but that is one of the reasons that I am trying to make some changes and redo the garden now while I still have some 'oomph' to do the digging and hauling. Right now I still don't have all the plants in the house, that should be in. I have some cannas and a brug still out in the garden and 2 to 3 inches of snow predicted for tonight.
Most of the brugs in pots are in.....maybe just a couple still on the patio, that I will bring in tonight.

Marg....was your hibiscus in a pot or planted in the ground?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 8:04PM
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Hi gg!!

We had a different kind of summer here. Some things actually bloomed early due to a nice sunny month of June. Usually we have fog, fog, fog, and more fog mixed with rain. July co-operated with the same kind of sunny weather, but then August came with nasty rains and some tropical storms which lasted into September.

Overall though, it was a pretty good year. I actually saw my Hardy Hibiscus bloom for the first time in 5 years. :O) It will be moved again this spring coming to see if I can get an earlier bloom out of it.

I've never tried Four O'Clocks but did try California Poppies this past year and will have them again in the gardens next year. My seeds for those didn't mature. Had to take them out to clean-up the garden they were in so I could put some new winter sown perennials for the winter so I'll have to find some seeds elsewhere. Beautiful plant with staying power for full sun and lean soil.

Cosmos were introduced to the gardens again after years of not being there. Love those too and they are staying now. The little Sulphur ones are real cute!

Here's a photo of that Hardy Hibiscus with her fall foliage and her bloom which was taken away after a day. We had a mean frost that night.

Are you going to be winter sowing again this year??


    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 8:26PM
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laine2(z4&5 Ontario)

Hi My gardens are sad this year I was not able to work
in them as usual due to knee replacement. I dug up all
the tender bulbs Canna Dahlias &glads. Roses etc got soil
and I will rake leaves hopefully over the beds & hope it's
enough. I'm looking forward to & planning ahead for next
year. Hope everyone has a good winter take care.
May all your weeds be wildflowers. Elaine :))

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 10:12AM
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gg: My hibiscus was planted in the ground. We had a covered patio behind our house and a bed running along the side of it (west side). It was sheltered from a lot of the winds but I guess a lot of the winter winds blew the snow further out in the garden. I have 3 planted in pots now and will see how they do. In the spring I will put them outside (probably still in pots)and see how they do. The reason I am going to leave them in pots is because I don't think they will survive the winter outside here(Stayner area)- we get very strong north winds here. I can then bring them in and leave them in the garage for the winter. Marg

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 12:38PM
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it sure is cold tonight

I went out to work in the yard today but being such a wimp, for cold weather, I cam back n Put on the weather report and am hoping that later in the week will be a bit milder

Still have lots of Calla Lilies to dig up, Some Fuschia that I am going to try to overwinter

One of my Aunts used to overwinter Fuschia had some trouble with white fly in spring but I think she watered them to much rather than just let them go dormant

Hope everyone gets there plants inside soon Feel sorry for them out in the cold

I have fish in the pond. Last year lost them all.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 10:21PM
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Diane: I overwintered fuschia one winter. I had read in BBC magazine how they did it in England so I decided to try it. First, I found a large carboard box then I lined it with several layers of newspaper. After that I put the potted fuschia (trimmed back severely to about a 2" stub)in and then covered all with more newspaper. I can't remember how severe the winter was that year, we lived in Bowmanville then, but I stored it in a cool greenhouse for the winter. The layers of newspaper provide some insulation and the ones on top keep the light from getting thru. Apparently this was enough insulation to make it survive the winter. I brought it out in about Feb. and it got whiteflies really bad. I should have watered it in and sprayed the foliage with insecticidal soap before storing to kill anhy eggs. Live and learn. Just thought I'd let you know my experience. Marg

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 8:40AM
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Hi All! :)
Well we did get quite a dump of snow this week. All the trees still have their leaves so with the snow collecting on the leaves it made for a lot of branches down and some trees also.
Pretty hibiscus Nicole. It is the same colour as the ones that bloomed for me. I was keeping an eye on the storms moving up the coast this summer. I imagine you did get lots of rain/wind etc. We got a slight bit of the tail of some of the storms and I'm sure it was nothing compared to what you got out there. You have never tried four o'clocks? They really are neighbours have great success with them and they are gorgeous. I had california poppies years ago and will probably have them again sometime--I love them too---(I think I probably say that about all plants!! :)) I do plan on WS again this year--what fun, eh?! I learned a lot this year and have lots of plans for changes to streamline things and not go so overboard--I just couldn't help it. I will TRY to use some self control this time around (HA HA)

Elaine, I hope your knee is healing nicely and that you will be back to your garden--pain free next year.

Marg, you are a fair bit north of me. I hope you have success with your hibiscus overwintering them in the garage.

Well for all the snow and wind and cold this week, it is beautiful and sunny and fairly mild today--supposed to be about 14 degrees tomorrow. Maybe then I will go out and look at the damage to my plants that got caught out in the storm--I did try and do what I could, but I just didn't have the time (or the oomph!) to get to everything. This morning I had to do all the running around that I didn't get dome at the first of the week--and there is still a lot of snow to melt....hopefully it will be mostly gone tomorrow on my day off.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 1:48PM
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thanks for the information about fuschia

When you mention the whitefly I remembered that my aunt had trouble with that as well

You say they could be sprayed now and cut right back.
That I can do
I am in FLorida though til some time in May and will and do have to rely on family to take care of the plants til then

Doesn`t always work so well but it is the best I can do

I don`t remember her cutting them right back but I was thinking to do so.

Mine are in large pots I am just going to bring in the entire pot with the fuschias and other plants, remaining as is But take off all the foliage and cut back everything



    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 12:25AM
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jroot(5A Ont. Canada (near Guelph))

Diane V, I think that is what I would do. You can shape the plant to the size you want, and strip off the leaves. Watering should be just enough to keep it alive. But, do take the time to hose it down really well, and spray with some sort of pesticide if you are taking it indoors for the winter. You don't want white fly, or mites, or aphids in the house when you are away.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 3:41AM
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Diane: I water the insecticidal soap into the soil as well as spraying the plant and the pot. The pot rim is also where insects hide. If you water the pot before storing it (either in a cool garage or basement), cover it with newspaper to exclude any light and store it away from any heat or direct light source (mine was in a cool greenhouse and it didn't seem to bother it), it should be fine til you get back. Make sure to leave a note for the plant 'caretakers' to bring it in, and start watering it in about Mar. You could also leave out a sticky yellow whitefly card they could put in the pot. Marg

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 8:39AM
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This has been my first year with four o'clocks. I have one small one that I grew from seed. I dug it up with my dahlias and cannas and treated the root the same way as the others. Will it survive the winter to be replanted in the spring? Does it need to be potted in soil for the winter in my cellar? I am going to grow more from seed next year. I have some seed from last year. Will it still be good for winter sewing this year?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 6:06PM
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I stored a four o'clock root last year for the first time. I treated it like a dahlia root. It survived and did extremely well this summer. Your seed from last year should be good. I have used seed that was 3 and 4 years old with good germination. Hope this helps. Wendy

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 10:31PM
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To test seeds for viability, put them in a glass of water. The ones that sink still have the live embryo inside. The ones that don't are probably duds but to be sure give them a light tap with your finger, If they sink and stay down they are still viable, if they bob back up they are duds. Marg

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 8:57AM
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