fertilizer for vinca minor

joseph53p(z7 MD)May 6, 2007

I am trying (again) to establish a fairly large area of vinca minor in an area that is mostly shaded, although certain parts of it get a fair amount of sun. I have planted a total of probably 3500 bare root plants about four inches apart over the past two years. Some areas have done pretty well, looking almost lush, but others have not fared so well, with bare patches. I realize now that some of my past failure has been due to inadequate water, and I have corrected that, and I water them every other day or so.

My question now is: To really stimulate growth and coverage, should I be fertilizing these newly planted vinca, and if so, how often, and with what?



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lyn_r(z6 OH)

I have vinca minor in several different areas and have never used a commercial fertilizer on them. What I have found is VM grows best in rich soil. We have heavy clay and I amend my garden areas by 'spot' composting. For very fast results I use coffee grounds and dry grass clippings then let the earthworms do their thing. I have even bought coffee from the grocery and applied directly from the can when I did not have enough used grounds. Groundcovers such as VM spread by top runners so do not put down newspapers or wood chips on the soil you are amending because they take too long to decompose.

Also remember that VM is not a rapid spreader so it may take another couple of years before it becomes the lush groundcover that you are wanting.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 12:31PM
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joseph53p(z7 MD)

Thanks, Lyn. When I planted the latest batch of plantsI put them about six inches apart and then mulched with shredded hardwood mulch. Was that a mistake?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 12:48PM
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lyn_r(z6 OH)

Joe .... The distance between the plants is fine. The shredded hardwood mulch will prevent the top runners from rooting for a year or two until the mulch decomposes. I would advise removing the mulch if you can do it without walking on the plants.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 3:10PM
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Hi, I'm in MD and I agree with using a lot of organic material to build up an area and I topdress new plants with manure which eventually fertilizes and also help keep in moisture esp. if not in shade. I also toss coffee grounds into the compost that becomes a rich hummus like the other poster. Great for nitrogen. Hardwood chips, I believe, rob the soil of nitrogen so you might want to toss some grounds down after you remove the mulch.

I'm an organic garderner and use a lot of other amendments. For starters, let me recommend two things to you: 1) cottonseed meal which is a great fertilizer and attracts earthworms like crazy. I call it "Earthworm Gold" (Worms will help move the nutrients to the roots, help with the micro-ecological balance of the soil, and aerate the roots.); 2) Maxicrop which can be applied to the soil--mix it by the gallon or use with a hose sprayer--or folliar feed. Many different gardners swear by Maxicrop including fussy orchid affecianadas. It's great stuff and you will have a longer growing season, plants that shrug off winter, and healthy, more robust plants. I'm not sure where you live but both of these are available at American Plant Food in Bethesda.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 6:53AM
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