2021 The Plot Thickens: The Gardening Thread

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  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Circus Host, 8th Day Host
    As an English person gardening alongside a lot of French, I suddenly want to grow Scarlet Pimpernel as well.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    The aquilegia withering and acquiring whitefly, I started digging it out this morning. It has very tenacious roots and grows in among other stuff so the devil to grub up.

    Everything in the garden that can be classed as a weed - or, at a stretch, wildflower - is stridently lush. All the things I've actually planted are wilting and dying from lack of rain. All water has to be hauled from the bathroom, down a flight of stairs and a path. Last year I could manage two bucket at a time, but now I only feel confident with one and clutching the handrail.
  • MrsBeakyMrsBeaky Shipmate
    The dwarf Buddleia I bought for my butterfly loving husband two years ago has gone rogue after doing nothing for two growing seasons. It is anything but dwarf.....
  • I have a dwarf buddleia by the drive which is very low but has a huge spread. I bought 2 more compact dwarf ones for the decking but they are more slow growing; I’m hoping they will take off soon.
  • Is poison ivy common in other places? It is very bad here this year (southern Ontario) but can be hard for some of us to identify. Google images shows a variety of leaves that don't really stand out among the other garden and woodland weeds. One website advises you to always wear rubber gloves while gardening and to wash your shoelaces afterwards just in case the oil has stuck to them. Looks like full hazmat gear in the garden for the rest of the summer at this rate.
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    As an English person gardening alongside a lot of French, I suddenly want to grow Scarlet Pimpernel as well.
    It grows as a weed in my garden and I was surprised to learn that in other parts of the country this is not so.

    I've got a dwarf buddleia as well, which I pruned back very hard last year having been told it would take over the flowerbed otherwise. It's currently throwing up a load of shoots, but no signs of flowers yet.
  • Helix wrote: »
    I know - I wondered that but a friend of mine has had very poor results! I was really surprised!

    Trying too hard, maybe? I'd suggest finding a nice sidewalk where you really don't want weeds. Blow the clock over that.

    No, seriously, based on where they grow in not-quite-nature, I suspect they want ordinary dirt (not rich), to be planted either on the surface or as close to it as makes no matter, and water no more than twice a week. They like disturbed soil (roadsides, etc.) so I'd probably drag a rake over their planting site a few times, but do no more than that. Full sun, of course. And they do seem to like heat.
  • I sprayed some weeds with a mixture of Epson salts, dawn dish soap, and white vinegar. Although Facebook said it would not work when a neighbor posted it the very next day, dead weeds.
  • I sprayed some weeds with a mixture of Epson salts, dawn dish soap, and white vinegar. Although Facebook said it would not work when a neighbor posted it the very next day, dead weeds.

    This gets interesting! I've used 10% cleaning vinegar in the past, and it certainly kills off broad leaves quickly, but I don't think it reaches their roots, meaning you get an excellent weed crop the next year, if not sooner. So far as I can make out, magnesium sulphate (Epsom salts) appears to be a plant nutrient, so I'm not sure how that works. Adding washing-up liquid makes some sense if it washes away the oil that appears to be the villain in poison ivy - I'll try that next.
  • SandemaniacSandemaniac Shipmate
    MrsBeaky wrote: »
    The dwarf Buddleia I bought for my butterfly loving husband two years ago has gone rogue after doing nothing for two growing seasons. It is anything but dwarf.....

    The best thing to do with Buddleias of any size is to hack them back right to the ground in spring - if you have more than one do one in March and one in May, and you'll get flowers through the season for both early and late moths.
  • SandemaniacSandemaniac Shipmate
    MrsBeaky wrote: »
    The dwarf Buddleia I bought for my butterfly loving husband two years ago has gone rogue after doing nothing for two growing seasons. It is anything but dwarf.....

    The best thing to do with Buddleias of any size is to hack them back right to the ground in spring - if you have more than one do one in March and one in May, and you'll get flowers through the season for both early and late moths.

    Forgot to mention that it will also keep them to a manageable size.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    Detergent will make the mix stick to glossy leaves - like my vinca. Or Ivy. May try this when I have finished the nasty off. Still got a couple of half bottles.
  • yohan300yohan300 Shipmate
    So our rather large 50+ year old apple tree has wither tip - approximately half the spurs have dead brown leaves, and these all need cutting off. I started, with the secateurs, and then the loppers, and the ladder, and the extendable pole pruner, but after an hour it seems I've barely done a few percent of it.
  • HelixHelix Shipmate
    Helix wrote: »
    I know - I wondered that but a friend of mine has had very poor results! I was really surprised!

    Trying too hard, maybe? I'd suggest finding a nice sidewalk where you really don't want weeds. Blow the clock over that.

    No, seriously, based on where they grow in not-quite-nature, I suspect they want ordinary dirt (not rich), to be planted either on the surface or as close to it as makes no matter, and water no more than twice a week. They like disturbed soil (roadsides, etc.) so I'd probably drag a rake over their planting site a few times, but do no more than that. Full sun, of course. And they do seem to like heat.

    That is really beautiful and thoughtful advice! Thank you. It would be great to be able to cultivate some dandelion - as I think it is cheerful little thing and also so great to drink. But appreciate that it has a habit of growing in the wrong place!
  • (whispers) I rather like it too, but don't tell anybody. My neighbors aspire to be Martha Stewart and eco-bomb their yard into submission, nothing but endlessly identical blades of grass in the lawn, and it drives them mad that I enjoy and even encourage the clover, wild violets, and wild columbine that grows in my yard next door. And the dandelions, dear Lord! :wink:
  • Firenze wrote: »
    The aquilegia withering and acquiring whitefly, I started digging it out this morning. It has very tenacious roots and grows in among other stuff so the devil to grub up.

    Everything in the garden that can be classed as a weed - or, at a stretch, wildflower - is stridently lush. All the things I've actually planted are wilting and dying from lack of rain. All water has to be hauled from the bathroom, down a flight of stairs and a path. Last year I could manage two bucket at a time, but now I only feel confident with one and clutching the handrail.

    No chance to throw a hose pipe out of the bathroom window? Or use a water butt in the garden, off of one of those plastic diverters which fit into a rainwater downpipe?
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Firenze wrote: »
    The aquilegia withering and acquiring whitefly, I started digging it out this morning. It has very tenacious roots and grows in among other stuff so the devil to grub up.

    Everything in the garden that can be classed as a weed - or, at a stretch, wildflower - is stridently lush. All the things I've actually planted are wilting and dying from lack of rain. All water has to be hauled from the bathroom, down a flight of stairs and a path. Last year I could manage two bucket at a time, but now I only feel confident with one and clutching the handrail.

    No chance to throw a hose pipe out of the bathroom window? Or use a water butt in the garden, off of one of those plastic diverters which fit into a rainwater downpipe?

    If I did that, it would land in the downstairs neighbour's garden - our garden is at one remove from the house

    I have a water butt, with a downpipe leading off the shed roof, but if it doesn't rain it's soon depleted, and that's when I have to top it up, bucketful at a time.

  • Hauling water from upstairs takes dedication.

    I'm afraid I'd start growing succulents, myself.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Hauling water from upstairs takes dedication.

    I'm afraid I'd start growing succulents, myself.

    This bit of Scotland has an average of 191 days of rain in a year. Arid compared to the bits that have 250, but probably still too damp for cacti.

  • MrsBeakyMrsBeaky Shipmate
    The Dwarf Buddleia is now taller than me and is heading towards my husband's height......it will be cut back to ground level once we've given it a chance to flower.
  • I had a buddleia that didn't grow quite so fast, and flowered slightly later/earlier, can't remember which, with magenta flowers - it was the variegated leaved Harlequin. According to the RHS it still grows to the same 3m as the usual Buddleia Davidii but mine and the one I had the cutting from hadn't got anywhere near that. The butterflies still loved it.
  • SandemaniacSandemaniac Shipmate
    MrsBeaky wrote: »
    The Dwarf Buddleia is now taller than me and is heading towards my husband's height......it will be cut back to ground level once we've given it a chance to flower.

    Where are you? If you are in the UK, you might get two flushes if you do that - but that will mean hacking it back twice as well!
  • MrsBeakyMrsBeaky Shipmate
    MrsBeaky wrote: »
    The Dwarf Buddleia is now taller than me and is heading towards my husband's height......it will be cut back to ground level once we've given it a chance to flower.

    Where are you? If you are in the UK, you might get two flushes if you do that - but that will mean hacking it back twice as well!

    I'm on the south coast of the UK. I bought the Buddleia two years ago at the Farmer's market and it had a label which promised it wouldn't grow taller than about four feet and now after not flowering and only growing to two feet for two years, this year it's bidding fair to top seven feet!
  • SandemaniacSandemaniac Shipmate
    Reminds me of the Geranium phaeum I bought at a church fete that turned out to be bubblegum pink when it flowered - nice, but not phaeum (which it now shares a bed with). I wonder if it had been treated with a growth retardant? But, if you have the time, I'd be tempted by a double cut to see what happens - it's extremely unlikely you'll kill it, it's what the cockroaches will be cultivating post-Armageddon.

  • MrsBeakyMrsBeaky Shipmate
    Reminds me of the Geranium phaeum I bought at a church fete that turned out to be bubblegum pink when it flowered - nice, but not phaeum (which it now shares a bed with). I wonder if it had been treated with a growth retardant? But, if you have the time, I'd be tempted by a double cut to see what happens - it's extremely unlikely you'll kill it, it's what the cockroaches will be cultivating post-Armageddon.

    🤣
  • SandemaniacSandemaniac Shipmate
    My obscene rose bush* has it's first flower, and it smells *fabulous*!
    https://flic.kr/p/2m6deh3

    (Maiden's Blush is "Thigh of an aroused nymph" to the French which, I am assured, is euphemistic).
  • MrsBeakyMrsBeaky Shipmate
    Update on my rogue Dwarf Buddleia
    One of the over six feet tall stems has now been completely flattened by the rain.
    It really doesn't seem to know what it's doing!
  • Ethne AlbaEthne Alba Shipmate
    Swiss chard stubbornly refusing to grow- everything else kinda fine.

    But why?
    Chard was Great last year too….
  • HeavenlyannieHeavenlyannie Shipmate
    edited June 19
    My chard has also refused to show up.

    The garden is looking better for having been rained on. The lupins and pokers have opened up this week, as have the peonies (their first year of blooming).

    My dwarf buddleia by the drive is more like ground cover so doesn’t grow tall at all, it is beneath the lounge window and my husband was dubious that it would become a monster but it hasn’t. I’ll see if he can remember what it is, as he kept a record.
  • Got my swiss chard, and my leeks, planted a fortnight ago.
    Both have loved the rain over the past couple of days and put on visible growth. As has pretty well everything in the garden.
    I am always amazed at the difference there is in the growth plants put on when they are rained on, compared with the "just about keeping alive" that results from soaking with a hose.

    I grow my chard in a raised bed, netted to keep the sparrows off. I also cover it with a layer of fleece in the winter to give us greens in the spring.
    I had not picked any for weeks, other than the red stemmed variety from round the edges, because my back has been too painful, so it had bolted, reached the netting and bent over.
    I assumed it was in pretty poor condition after the frosts we had throughout May so was surprised, and delighted, when I finally uncovered it to clear the bed, last weekend, to get a generous harvest of large leaves of the standard white stemmed variety. Much of it in excellent condition, and not infested with the aphids that had covered the last picking I made of the red one.
    I now have several packs of wilted chard leaves in the freezer, and am hoping they will see us through to the first pickings from the new plants.

    I had intended to make pickle with the stems, but my back couldn't cope with me standing to do all the chopping reqired. They sat in the kitchen until obviously floppy, then went onto the compost heap.
    Disappointing, as that pickle is a favourite.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    This year my peonies were magnificent ... and then it rained. When the sky stops leaking I'll try to rescue the unopened blooms 😧
  • Wow. No rain here for ages - here, where people go on about how wet it usually is.
  • MarthaMartha Shipmate
    We just had a day full of rain yesterday. Strawberries are producing by the gallon, and the peas are coming on well. I thought all my squash plants had died, but they seem to be surviving, if still rather small.
  • No rain for weeks and do not expect any, over 100F the last few days so I am watering both morning and evening. So far so good.
  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Circus Host, 8th Day Host
    Finally in mid-June, stuff has started to grow. I also thought my squash was moribund, but it seems to be recovering. My beans are also growing at a most satisfying rate.

    A big storm here earlier on, so no watering for me.
  • CathscatsCathscats Shipmate
    Have set up the hose to water the weeds (and other plants). The ground is so hard and dry I need to water it to get the weeds out! This garden in our new place is lovely but hasn’t been tended for at least a year, so I will have my work cut out. Our gardening rule has always been grass for Mr Cats (much less of that here) and everything else for me.
  • Ethne AlbaEthne Alba Shipmate
    For reasons not at all horticulturally related the next month or so will be busy.

    So
    Everything even possibly able to survive has been planted out. In Real Soil. Have hacked off a couple of large pot bottoms and placed on the soil, with v good results.

    Why I thought growing dahlias from seed was a good idea…… I have not a clue! Do I throw them out Now, on the basis that having no time or care will kill them anyway? Or ?
  • SandemaniacSandemaniac Shipmate
    Flippin' Nora! The Met Office reckon it will get down to 6C tonight here - and the Beeb reckon a degree colder!

    Have to get all my outdoor toms back in for the night... bit late for the runners, unless I dig the wigwam up and get it inside too.
  • No way can I get my tomatoes and runner beans inside. In other years I have fleeced them against unseasonal cold, but can no longer do the bending to fix it in place. They will just have to cope as best they may.
  • SandemaniacSandemaniac Shipmate
    Well, they've all survived - it was 9C when I checked the outside fmometer this morning, it was a couple of hours after sunrise by then, but nothing looks toasted. Annoyingly one wheel on my new wheeled planter broke as I lugged it out of the greenhouse - I blame my knackered rough old concrete path - but I'm not going to complain too loudly as it's a great planter and the wheels were an extra.
  • DiomedesDiomedes Shipmate
    Sighs of relief here on the Thames estuary - down to 8 overnight, but even the lemon tree ( which didn't make it inside) seems quite happy this morning. Phew!
  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    Lemon trees are tough; mine is fruiting like no tomorrow despite it being winter in Sinny
  • DiomedesDiomedes Shipmate
    Sojourner - What's the lowest temperature your lemon tree will manage? Perhaps I've been mollycoddling mine! It would make life easier if I knew it wasn't actually such a horticultural wimp.
  • Weed killing again... 10% vinegar with washing up soap really hasn't worked much here except on the thistles, which collapsed quickly from it. They grow fast and die fast. I don't know if it reaches the roots, though - I doubt it. I'm afraid it will have to be Roundup for the poison ivy unless anyone has better ideas.

    Tangent... A cousin-in-law in Nebraska told us you can get fined by the municipality for allowing a thistle to grow on your property. Corn and beans are important there, so there's a good reason for it. I wonder if it's an offence anywhere else?
  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    Diomedes wrote: »
    Sojourner - What's the lowest temperature your lemon tree will manage? Perhaps I've been mollycoddling mine! It would make life easier if I knew it wasn't actually such a horticultural wimp.

    I’d guess about 5 C which is cold for suburban Sinny (or Melbourne for that matter)

    In the days before sewage every terrace house had a lemon tree in the backyard and outhouse against the back fence which abutted a laneway. The dunny men came & emptied the outhouse cans twice weekly. The rest of the time everyone’s chamber pots were emptied onto the ground around the lemon tree which was known as “ chambermaid’s delight”.

  • Ah - that explains the scene in "The World's Fastest Indian" where the hero habitually relieves himself at his lemon tree.
  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    Yep
  • HeavenlyannieHeavenlyannie Shipmate
    edited June 25
    It appears the reason why the water lily leaves in my container pond look like they have been through a shredder is due to the rather rigorous bathing technique of the local blackbird (we suspected a bird was bathing there as the small rocks were constantly being displaced into the water). I’m guessing he completes the spa experience with a healthy meal from my adjacent strawberry patch.
  • Weed killing again... 10% vinegar with washing up soap really hasn't worked much here except on the thistles, which collapsed quickly from it. They grow fast and die fast. I don't know if it reaches the roots, though - I doubt it. I'm afraid it will have to be Roundup for the poison ivy unless anyone has better ideas.

    This seems to have worked on my weeds, but I have no thistles. I do not know if it kills the roots but so far so good.
    1 gal. vinegar, 2 cups Epson salts, 1/4 cup dawn dish soap ( blue original only) mix and spray in the morning.

  • Ethne AlbaEthne Alba Shipmate
    After two days of wind and rain + plummeting temperatures I ventured out.



    Not only is everything still standing, how?

    Everything is considerably larger and sturdier!

    Courgettes apparently want to take over the garden while the sunflowers want to peek over the walls. Sweet peas Really want to flower and the beetroot is galloping away.

    I m tired just Looking at it all!

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