Does this count as an experiment? Introducing myself. Kinda LONG

pufftrinket(5MI)April 29, 2006

Uh, sorry, this became a monstrous long post! :-) Puff

I have 5 acres of yard I want to turn into pure garden environment using groundcovers, native plants, and some appropriate aggressive spreading plants- including a few weeds I actually find pretty. Don't worry, I am researching everything and avoiding the noxious weeds on my state's list as well as others that are suggested to be a problem for the ecosystem. I have a few plants I selected before I understood certain things, so I do have some ivy, myrtle, and other things that some gardeners might disapprove. I don't plan to get any more of those, but I am planning to keep hat I already have, for now.

I am definitely experimental in my approach- I get an idea, I try it, and then then I work around what works and doesn't. I don't plan a whole lot. I like to just get out there and look, and see what might come next.

Here are some examples of what I have done:

On a hill that was overgrown with wild raspberries, pruned them back to a couple of canes each, mulched with yard waste, and am hoping to have a kind of random, loosely organized set of raspberry bushes.

I have set myself up with a local tree trimmer to deliver his shredded scraps as often as he can. I am spreading newspaper and wood chips over large areas, and using them liberally around volunteer wildflower seedlings to create patches wherever the plants seem happy. So far this year, I have spread three large dump truck loads of chips, and am eager for more.

Since I don't know a whole lot about plants yet, I pick out all the volunteers from my lawn as they come up and move them to places where I think they might look good in groups. I am moving every healthy wild strawberry plant I can find to create a large patch of groundcover, and doing the same with a couple of other plants that look low-growing and happy.

I am contemplating creating a dandelion patch, or using dandelions as "groundcover' under the wild raspberries.

We have no neighbors for 1/2 mile in either direction on our side of the road, and only one neighbor directly across the street. We have all kinds of conditions, from black dirt, to sandy clay, to rocks, to heavy clay and hardpacked road dirt. allkinds of moisture, too, from very dry to boggy, to flooded. Most of it is full sun, though there are a few areas of partial shade. I love the challenge and the variety.

I want to water as little as possible, and use compost and mulch to improve the soil rater than chemical fertilizers. I also want to use natives wherever I can.

I am looking for suggestions and thoughts about some experiments and approaches. But, as I said, I am working large-scale and favor aggressive plants others find annoying. I'd really like some guidance and creative suggestions form experienced gardeners. My local gardening friend says my site has so much potential, and I want to try all kinds of things.

So my first question to you experienced garden experimenters is:

Given a LARGE varied area, what would YOU try??



PS- Hope I've picked the right forum, but I understand if maybe I don't get too many responses.

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you should not apoligize that was not long. and yes if you have not done it before it would be an experiment at least to you . I have a 1/2 acre lot that I wished I would have used some of the things you allready have suggested my goal was to elimate ALL lawn and done a lot but a big job with a bad back and a job lol.
I also agree with you,re thoughts on the invasive plants
I have found a home for "veronica flowers" and garlic chives based on the fact they choked all others out.
those veronicas were a hassle in my front flower beds but an area in the back that is a load of junk/brush/boards covered with dirt just love it and choked all others out and requires no water.
I think you would have a use for mint plants also ,yrs back we established a bed next to my gmas house where nothing had ever grown an area about 20by60ft I used plants from neighbors in the corners and centers of squares in a grid about 3yrs and this is solid mint and gets mowed occasionally.
while i,m no pro but well read coneflowers always seem to pop up in discussions like this no matter what part of the country it is. and that seed is available in lbs.
sunflowers are my first choice and this yr. i,m planting two bags of bird seed in stripes in my yard .
I have a lg amount of seeds of various stuff if you are interested???
landscapers and supposed experts have been using ivys for centuries I have a a variegated yellow one that I wished was all over the yard and plan to let it eat a long stretch of chain link and still dream of making a solid steel tee pee and letting ivy eat it.
if you do not get a lot of response it is not you,re fault just the amount of forum users.
I can go on and on but you seem like a good candidate for a lot of mulch you should seriously put the word out that folks can deliver stuff and get all the grass and woodchips you can.
you spoke of paper that is a lot of paper but I can say from experience cardboard is easier to get and easier to haul I was a warehouse worker for yrs and can tell you where there will be huge amounts of it in any place in nation.
see that was,nt long lol. when it gets to blooming I,ll show you a pic of what those flowers did on a small scale very effective. Rick

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 12:26PM
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