Hoping for a Miracle Garden

garden_rescue(z4 WI - St Pt)November 1, 2005

Hello,

I have had some of the best laughs reading posts around the forum today. Gardeners are an interesting mix.

Having just finished our first crazy year in our new home, I know I can't let the yard go without putting in some beauty for next year. DH and I are frantically doing fall clean-up and trying to get beds ready to stick some plants in that I dug out of my mom's yard. This is where the miracle part really comes in, because everything I've been reading suggests it's pretty iffy to try to divide or transplant perennials and bulbs right now... still, Mom's needed thinning, she has beautiful gardens that I want to duplicate, and she says this will work. We will see. Experienced gardeners are probably shaking their head at me.

We held off on digging Mom's plants til we had done some major clean-up... my sister hauled two trailer's full of brush to her land in the country already, and we've started another load. This place was so let go! We got a free lesson from our neighbor (who has an immaculate yard) on the creeping charlie that is growing on our side of the lot line (and everywhere else in our yard too).

The thing that really slowed us down was after we very logically decided to focus on one bed next to the deck and leave the rest of the garden til next year. We thought we'd have all Mom's plants in the ground the same day... but the shrubs in that bed were pretty bad looking, needed removing. So DH dug them out, which took a while.

I had noticed the dwarf crab in that bed was half leaf-less this summer. Now we know why... under the bark mulch we found the ground competely covered with landscaping fabric. The tree and shrub roots were growing on top of it, apparently to try to avoid suffocation. Also, the lawn had grown about two feet over the original edge of the bed, so we had to cut sod too.

The bed is finally almost ready to plant, just need to grade the soil to slope away from the house. But we have a toddler and baby and it takes both parents to get anything done outside while keeping the kiddies safe and warm. And since we fell backwards, it's too dark outside when DH gets home from work.

Need another miracle... hope those transplanted clumps won't mind waiting til this weekend to be put in the ground. If they even have a chance to ever grow at all...

I have hopes of planting bulbs too. Maybe I'm nuts, but the idea of spring flowers is such a pleasant one. Hmm, there are a lot of frisky squirrels and chipmunks out there.

I figure, despite what we do, the gardens can't be any worse than they are now.

And I'm having fun starting a compost pile, anyway.

All the best.

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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

It sounds like you had a lot of fun in your garden. :-) That's really the purpose of gardening: to have some fun.

Good luck. :-)

    Bookmark   November 1, 2005 at 9:09PM
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triciae(Zone 7 Coastal SE CT)

Keep them well watered until your ground freezes hard and mulch, mulch, mulch but don't cover the crowns...good luck.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2005 at 8:47AM
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garden_rescue(z4 WI - St Pt)

Actually, it was pretty fun digging in the dirt to pull out that fabric cloth. It was satisfying to have a change in the landscape, even though it's still a mess, to somehow make the place our own.

Thank you for the advice! We'll see if we can't pull off the miracle garden here.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2005 at 9:57AM
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sage_lover(z6 OH)

Recently read that roots continue to grow on many plants even when leafless & the air is nippy. Apparently the roots can grow for weeks, until the ground approaches freezing temps.

I think you will have a great time seeing the fruits of your labor in the coming years. Best wishes.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2005 at 7:25PM
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smom40(5MO)

I agree with the mulch comments. Get them in, water them well, and mulch them from here to kingdom come.

But as to bulbs, I'm new to this zone, but from what I hear from more seasoned people, if you can dig the soil, you can plant those bulbs. Just get them in! You can always move things around next year.

Good luck and I hope that you're rewarded in the spring! :)

    Bookmark   November 2, 2005 at 10:29PM
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Pudgy(7a TX)

Jerry Baker says in his DVD/video about splitting/planting perineals is cut down to about 6 inches from rootball, cover with a few leaves and some mulch. Water a bit (maybe put some human hair and oatmeal in the planting hole first, and mulch. It will look dead all winter, and in the spring it will likely come back and be very happy :) I suspect the roots are growing all winter long, albeit slowly, yet establishing themselves for a push in the spring for foliage growth. Try it and see, you can always replant.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2005 at 10:08AM
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garden_rescue(z4 WI - St Pt)

Thanks for the encouragement and advice.

Pudgy, what do human hair and oatmeal do for the plants? Fertilizer? Pest repellent? I know precious little about such things. Thank you.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2005 at 2:18PM
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