Getting ready to 'go for it'- any last-minute advice??

annewaldron(SoCal,10)August 12, 2005

Hello, all- newbie here who's getting ready to go for it in my front flower beds. Here's my plan:

1) buy a giant bag of compost, some Bandini Start n' grow, some Sluggo, and some plants/flowers that I have seen growing in the neighborhood that I like

2) turn a bunch of compost into the flower bed to raise it up a bit

3) plant a small area to start (add Start n' Grow at this step)

4) water

5) apply Sluggo

6) admire

7) go to bed

8) wake up & go to the front door

9) pray

  1. open the front door & see if anything's still there!

Anybody have any advice I shouldn't go forward without??

: ) Anne

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Are you going to mulch the bed? That usually helps keep weeds down, soil moist and cooler. Add Sluggo on top of the mulch.

Some of us would have added a cocktail hour to your itinerary!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 2:10PM
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username_5(banned for no reason)

do you have a slug problem? If not then skip the sluggo. Also bear in mind that compost breaks down so the height it adds is temporary.

Consider mulching the bed once the plants are growing well to conserve moisture and reduce weeds.

Have fun!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 2:42PM
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Edited to include:
- buy bag of mulch
- pour a wee cocktail (I was going to include this in the original post, but didn't want to sound like the Garden Web lush!)

Yes, from what I understand, slugs ate just about everything that's ever been planted there before, but as God is my witness, they WILL go hungry this time!
: ) Anne

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 2:57PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Sounds good to me....but after all that I think you may have earned more than a "wee tiny" cocktail.....maybe a very tall Margarita?...Gotta stay hydrated don't ya know.
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 4:53PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

May I wish you good luck, just the right amounts of sun and rain, a fertile soil, and a groovy garden that is off the trail traveled by anything remotely resembling anything but a beneficial bug. ;o)


    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 6:27PM
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If anyone comes back to look, you'll be pleased to know that my adventures in gardening (so far) have been successful! Thanks to the good advice I got here on Garden Web (sunscreen, mulch, etc), I think I've got a fighting chance!

Now only if someone would have suggested stretching before I started- I'm so sore!! ; )

Here are links to before/after photos:

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 5:20PM
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    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 5:22PM
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jerseygirl07603 z6NJ

Congrats! It looks very nice. At my age, I've learned to take an Advil before I start any big project. But Advil helps afterwards, too. Or a cocktail might help. (But don't take Advil AND cocktail) What kind of plants are they? I couldn't really tell from the photo.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 9:36PM
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They are:
1) a couple different colors of vinca- catharanthus roseus- we had one that was really scraggly, so I ripped out the worst part of it and put my new ones in with it (in the entryway), and also one down in front
2) eustoma grandiflorum- texas bluebells (not doing so hot, but my gardening "adopt-er" DID recommend against trying to plant these at this time of year- I just forgot!)
3) impatiens
4) celosia- cockscombs
5) cuphea hyssopifolia- Mexican heather (I got advice that this is not the best place to put this plant as it gets rather big, so I'm considering moving it)
6) coprosma- the shrub with shiny green leaves edged in yellow (not in the picture)
7) verbena- purple, red, pink, white (doing OK to good at this point)
8) Nierembergia (sp?) I may have put this in the wrong place (along sidewalk) as I think this might get bushy too.

And left a bunch of open spaces for future plantings.

Learn as I go- learn as I go!

: ) Anne

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 1:33PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

About the slugs: some little sunk-in-the-ground lids filled with yummy flat beer.

Around very favourite plants there is a suggestion that a circlet of ordinary copper wire will keep them at bay - or nasty sharp grit to tickle their undercarriages.

Clear away any decaying green material. Acts like a slug motel.

Avoid the delicacies such as Delphiniums until the garden is a lot older and the soil is really healthy. (Three years+)

One garden I know was plagued with snails and slugs despite having a lively bird population. It was no effort at all to collect a two quart container full of the beasties and still find more next day.

Over three years the soil has been amended with a high animal manure compost and the weeds have been put into the compost bin. The slug/snail population has dropped markedly.

If you do want to plant things known to be yummy to the munchers - grow them on in containers until they have a booming root system - and then plant out.

Poor old 'Percival' the Delphinium came home root bound and I potted him on, put him in the recovery zone and picked up a gooey remainder next morning. I put the remains well out of slug reach. He grew on, and has been untroubled in the garden ever since. Same with Hostas.

Just think of slugs as the jackals of the garden - pouncing on the weaklings - and the ones that cost the earth ;)

PS It doesn't have to be your beer...

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 3:39AM
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If I put out the dish of beer, would it unnecessarily attract slugs? Like do these buggers smell that stuff from miles away? I'd considered putting out the beer dish in addition to the Sluggo, but wondered about this and then decided against it.

What is it about a booming root system that would be beneficial? Wouldn't the slugs just eat everything above ground regardless?

I feel like an assassin that needs to get very "close" to my enemy and know everything about him in order to conquer him!!!! ; )


    Bookmark   August 19, 2005 at 4:27PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

"I feel like an assassin" - So True!

Stomp, seek out, poison, shoot, soap suds bath, each and every one!!!! Unless, of course, you REALLY like escargot (use a lot of garlic).


    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 8:49AM
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