It's spring! Now what do I do...?

Mon 24 Mar, 2003 10:15 pm
It's been really nice around here lately which is absolutely wonderful, and there are shoots of this and that poking out all over the place. Last year I planted my first attempt at a somewhat serious garden, albeit a Garden for Dummies, and I am not sure how to nurture it this year.

The first part is bulbs, which I plan to just leave to their own devices. (?) The second part, though, is a wildflower garden sown from seed last year. Right now there is a covering of leaves, fairly thick (almost no soil showing through) -- should I get rid of that? Wait until the last threat of freeze has lifted? How do I know?

The main thing I am concerned about, though, is making sure my wildflowers grow but not weeds. I think I can recognize most weeds, but is there anything I want to do at this stage? Or just wait until everything grows to a recognizable stage, then get rid of the weeds?

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Tue 25 Mar, 2003 12:44 am
I really wish I could help you, but my garden is a vegeteble garden and I know nothing about flowers. I am naturally curious, so if you don't mind, I'm going to hang out and learn something ;-)
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Tue 25 Mar, 2003 01:22 am
Soz, my uncle always used to say a weed is in the eyes of the beholder. For example in the orchard on the ranch we had to go and pull out wile roses because roses need and use so much water. The ranch was outside of Grand Junction, CO, the high desert and the only way to grow anything other than native plants was irrigation which was expensive. So when we weeded the orchard we pulled out all the flowers.

When I had my own home I always let everything grow and then decided if I wanted to pull or not. For a long time I fought with this thing, sorry I do not know the name, in the lawn of the back yard. It seemed like the more I dug it up the more it grew. Then one day I was at the nursery and saw that the same exact plant was being sold and it was not cheap.

Surely this will not help you but it is something to consider. May be you don't have any weeds, just volunteers.
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Tue 25 Mar, 2003 01:27 am
i used to plant and maintain numerous plants, flowers, fruit trees, fruits, vegetables etc. for more years than i care to remember while i was growing up. my opinion is to let them grow to a recognizable level, weed if you want to and let nature take it's course.

on the other hand if you're still unsure, cover the buggers back up with snow until you figure it out. Laughing
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Tue 25 Mar, 2003 11:36 am

Having snow would help. It was 72 here yesterday!

Joanne, if it was just me, that's totally what I'd do. But I have an asthmatic hubby (no ragweed, please) and a very curious little toddler (no deadly nightshade, please.) I think I'll have to deal with that stuff once it's big enough to ID, but I was hoping to figure out a way to encourage the wildflowers to grow grow grow and crowd out the weeds.
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Tue 25 Mar, 2003 11:59 am
As most 'wildflowers' are considered weeds and will have similar growth habits at the beginning, you're best off leaving things alone for a while, sozobe. Wait until you're sure what you're looking at.

The ragweed won't be an issue for hubby until late August at the earliest, and you should be able to i.d. it long before then. The nightshade is a bit trickier, as in its early days it can look a lot like morning glories.

Maybe set up a little garden for the babySoz for her to focus her attention on. There's been a good discussion on gardening with toddlers on taunton lately.
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Tue 25 Mar, 2003 12:09 pm
Yup, that's a great idea. I do plan to do that (I have central area with birdbath that will be "hers") but there's no keeping her away from the rest of the garden. Or, there is, but would much prefer to not have to expend energy on that. ("Sweetie, no, stay in your part of the garden. Nope, over here. Honeybun...")

Any tips for encouraging growth of the flowers? Like, what should I do with the leaves, and when?

(Happy to see you here, ehBeth!)
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