New Homeowner Overwhelmed (Happily)

LESNYC(z6bNYC/z5GreeneCo.)September 6, 2005

Hi everyone! I introduced myself a month ago, but to recap- I've just purchased a 1940's cottage in the Catskills. My gardening history has consisted of successfully growing container plants in the city. Now I have a lot to learn about gardening with a yard, deer, etc. What is the best advice you could have for me for gardening at this time? I know I have Irises, Rose of Sharon, two lilacs and some peonies. I would like to learn how best to care for these, and learn what grows well up here. I'd also like to learn about the native trees and plants. Any additional sources of information you can provide would be appreciated as well! Thanks in advance!

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orcuttnyc(z5-6 NY)

Here are a few urls i've found to be usefull and/or humorous. As you go on, you'll find variety in your plants is fun. I love my banana plants, figs, and other exotics.If you only go to Home Depot, you'll get basically the same things year after year. One of your best bets might be to become acquainted with your local nuseries. They are usually very happy to recommend local plants. Deer resistance doesn't have to be a big problem. I'm a firm believer in deer netting. It is made almost transparent now days and I love my hostas.Cold hardiness will determine most things, unless you green house or live with the plants in doors. I can't afford the green house, so I overwinter my exotics in the living room. I kinda like it.
Well, best o' luck.
Remember, plant hundreds of bulbs this fall and then watch the squirrels eat them :) I've introduced owls on my property to thin the squirrel population.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2005 at 6:11PM
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Don't know where in the Catskills you are but check out Story's nursery in Freehold (Route 32 north of 23).
Nourse is a great source for blueberries but the deer will eat them into oblivion unless they are fenced - and that's true for fruit trees as well as most everygreens.
Plant a lot of daffs in the next month or so - deer and squirrels don't eat them and they are a great start to the gardening season. Forget about tulips unless you have deer fencing and then plant deep to avoid squirrels.
The only crocus that survive the squirrels is tomasianus.
BUT - deer don't eat snowdrops, winter aconite and wood hyacinths. And usually don't eat regular hyacinths.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2005 at 6:41AM
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Where you live in Lanesville, you're up high, so the autumn arrives a few weeks earlier (I love rt 214 in autumn). I remembered the name of the garden writer who lives in your town...Dean Riddle. Also, there is a guy who has a great garden right next to the Lanesville Post Office who could help you out...his incredible garden was on a tour. Knock on his door.

My advice for this area is not to plant anything in the fall. There's not enough time to set roots. Wait till spring. Bulbs are an exception of course. Adams has all its bulbs out now. Don't get too greedy with bulbs till you know what's in the ground. We have rock here...need a pickax to do any planting...raised beds work for us...

Get a garden bed ready for the spring so you can set new plants into it. There will be surprises coming up next spring, so I'd wait to start messing with existing plantings. Cut down dead foliage and stems, and pull weeds that you know are weeds right now. Plant a few icicle pansies for fun (from Adams in Kingston)...guaranteed to bloom in spring in a protected sunny spot next to the house.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2005 at 10:35PM
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Hi everyone! Thank you all for your help, advice, and new websites to check out! It's so great to hear it from the people that know my zone, weather and soil type-rock! :)
I know exactly which garden you are talking about next to the Post Office! He has great plants! I will definitely try to meet him! Good tip on the crocuses too, it would be sad to see all my hard work go to squirrel lunches! I'll know which ones to shop for now. Thanks again to all of you!
It's been fun trying to figure out the types of trees and shrubs on the property. I may post the ones I can't decide on, maybe some of you can help? There are also a lot of rose bushes growing on the property, but they look wild. I guess I'll have to wait until spring to find out for sure!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 8:09PM
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orcuttnyc(z5-6 NY)

I believe you might need a good pruning book. I think it's M Dirr that is my fav. Wild roses are one of my favs. Cut them back, feed and train them, they are beautifull. Best thing is, leave them where they are. No digging, no planting. If you have those, look for rasberries. Once found, fed and trained, they'll reward you for most of the summer. I'm still getting berries.This year, i've started potting forest ferns as well. I think wild trees are nice as well. I have great tulip, cedar
and others.
No ones mentioned the only benefit to all our rocks....Once you've strained to pull one out..there is your hole to plant in!
And I still believe in deer fencing. For my blueberries, ect. :)

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 7:55AM
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digginDan(z5 NY Catskills)

Echoing the advice given above, and posting to highlight the advice...deer fencing. Don't plant without it!! We planted our first year or two after we moved to the Catskills without fencing and paid dearly for it.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 4:06PM
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