Too late to start a shady bed?

emiceekayeewhyJuly 29, 2005

Hi. For the first time in 20 years I have more than two weeks off in a row. My last job was eliminated and the next doesn't start until after Labor Day. Hallelujah.

I have always wanted to have a shade garden on the side of my house but never had time to get it together. Is it too late to start? I live just outside of Philadelphia -- in Lower Merion for those of you who know the area. Should I just prepare the bed and wait until next spring to plant or can I plant now?



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TheDogsBalls(Z7 FISHTOWN PA)

You could plants beets,turnips,broccoli, early peas,or lettuces..and have plenty of time...

    Bookmark   July 30, 2005 at 4:13PM
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How wonderful to finally have some time off and be able to work on a garden. You can plant perennials now and even impatiens and other shade loving annuals if you put in the plants.It's too late for seeds. You'll just have to make sure you keep the ground moist. Your favorite nursery should have hostas and many other shade plants. Have fun. One thing though,don't fertilize them. You don't want a rapid spurt of growth now. Just let them get used to the soil and take hold and fertilize them next year.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2005 at 7:23PM
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Oh thank you! My next big decision is whether or not to dig up some healthy but mis-shapen rhodos to make way for the bed.

I think I'll just work on it slowly, as time allows. I bought some landscaping software but haven't tried it yet.

I hope to try some new things. I am already loaded with hostas, so I'll limit those.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2005 at 4:01PM
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witsend22(6Pa Bedford Co)

I would go ahead and prep the bed area but would go light on the actual plantings. Get a few plants in to be enjoyed now and as fall aproaches add plants that need to go in during the fall to have all winter to establish a healthy root system.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2005 at 10:21PM
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I think that's what I'll do. Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 9:16PM
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Lisa_Michelle(z6 PA)

I don't know if I'm too late, but the one thing that came to mind was that most nurseries have great discounts and sales this time of year on their perennials. Unusual shade plants such as bugbane and kirengeshoma palmata may still be around ( I saw some bugbane today at Waterloo Exton), and you may be able to pick up a few, usually more pricy plants for less money by the end of summer. Because the shade plants are usually kept in the shade, they tend to look OK come the end of the season. If you have a protected spot, plant early enough, and mulch well you can have success with planting before next Spring. Don't forget to plan for some bulbs- Trillium and Autumn Crocus add some interest. Whatever you decide, have fun! I have a fairly large shade garden and have enjoyed the experience very much.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 8:56PM
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