Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Great Site

Check out this great site.  It is specific to Perennials for Georgia.  It also lists their heights and growing conditions.  It will save you a lot of research.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lion, Tigers, and Propagation Oh My!

I have to admit that I am not cheap, however, I can’t afford to buy expensive things or waste money on them. 

With that being said, I am constantly looking for ways to improve my garden/yard with what I already have. 

Why would I go buy a plant that I could easily divide the ones I already have?  The benefit:  I can usually get two or more new plants from the one that was divided.
Another option would be to collect and plant the seeds from these plants.  That would increase the potential for future plants.

Here’s the catch.  Usually after dividing a plant, the new plants might not flower the following year or may die if the re-planting were not done properly.  Anther downside is that the time to achieve a mature plant will be extended.  This usually only takes a year or two, and the alternative to buying costly plants seems to be a no-brainer. 

If division isn’t possible, another option could be to take clippings.  Any time that I have a plant that I have to trim, (Such as a certain rose bush that continuously pulls on my clothes every time I walk past it,) I will take the clippings inside and try to root them. 

Whether or not this is the correct method for that particular plant, I don’t know, but I am at least going to try.  If it works, great!  If not, it was going in the compost pile anyway.  Now, you could increase your chances by doing a little research before hand on the proper method for that particular plant.  You could also buy some root hormone, which is a good idea if you are going to be putting the cutting directly in soil.  You could do what I do, and stick the cutting in some warm water in a clear jar in a sunny window. 

Of all the times that I have done this, most of them usually take.  After letting the roots grow in the jar and changing the water about every week, the plant is then usually ready to be put in a pot or in the yard.

Try these different methods to see what works for you, but the more methods you try, the better your chances for success will be.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Welcome to my blog!  I thought that as much as I like to talk about what I am doing in my yard, I might  as well make it easy for people to see it too.  I am going to attempt to keep this as up to date as possible to help hopefully answer any questions as quickly as I can once they are posted.

Yesterday was the first taste of what is just around the corner. Even though spring feels so very long away.  It is getting to be prime time for getting things ready in the garden. 

Most of being successful outside is determined by what you are doing NOW!

Don't expect in spring and summer to be able to go to your local home improvement store, buy some plants, stick them in the ground, and expect some photographer from Better Homes and Gardens to stop by and want to take pictures for the most recent issue.

Even though it is cold out there, much preparation can begin now.
It is the best time to be trimming those ornamental grasses that, I am sure by now, are looking less than flattering lining your driveway.
Other grasses, such as Pampas grass, will also benefit from a nice trim.  I cut mine back to about 1-11/2 feet.  The first time I did this, I thought for sure that I was going to kill the plant.  Instead, I was rewarded with a healthier plant by summer.
Remember too, while cutting and cleaning around pampas grass always wear gloves, your fingers and hands will thank you.

To trim my Pampas grass I just use my electric hedge clippers and load up the mess on a tarp for a trip to the woods where it can become bird nest material.
For the other grasses, such as Mondo grass, I just use my lawn mower to go over them, cutting it back to around 2 inches.

Now is also a great time to take a walk in your yard.  On grasses such as Bermuda, finding and eliminating weeds is easy.  The grass should be well dormant, and anything green should be a weed. I simply walk around during this time of year and spray the weeds with Roundup.  That way I am not wasting any money or putting any more chemicals on my lawn than I have too.

Even though I have been told that now might still be a little to early to be planting perrennial seeds, I couldn't resist.  I sowed 72 Shasta Daisy and Black Eyed Susans yesterday in a Jiffy greenhouse. 

I have never used one of these before, but found it very easy.  You just add warm water the the seeding capsules, then plant your seeds and cover with the lid.  I put in a northern facing window.  The cover keeps the seeds evenly moist so I don't have to worry if they are getting too much or too little water.

When buying your seeds, make sure to check on whether they are supposed to be sown indoors first, which sometimes is between 8-10 weeks before last frost, which in Atlanta is April 10.

I will post pictures of both the grasses and the seeds as soon as I can.

I have twin boys too, and we came up with a little game to get the gardening done.  Now, even though my soil is heavy in clay it is also full of rocks.  I have decided, in my digging, that instead of buying expensive landscaping bricks, I would use all of these FREE rocks to line my garden beds.  So, the boys and I went on a treasure hunt. 

I gave each of them an empty hanging basket (from my failed Petunias from last summer) and off we went. Before long, we had several loads full of rocks that continue to be added to create the flower beds for spring.

By now is also a great time to be planning your garden for spring. 

If you don't have a good idea on which plants you want to use and what type of conditions they need to grow in, you might be tempted to buy plants in spring that really aren't right for your zone or your soil type.

I used some graph paper and a circle template to create mine.  Do your research now.  Look at where you want to plant, determine what type of soil and sun/shade it gets.  How easy will it be for me to water this area?  All these questions will eventually play a role in springtime's decisions. 

I have made the mistake in the past of buying plants that might be suitable for my region, only to bring them home and have them die because I didn't have the right light conditions in my yard for them to grow or not enough time spent preparing the beds for them to grow.  This resulted in money I could have spent elsewhere.

There are many books out that are pertinant to your particular region.  Once you determine the plants you want, then you can begin preparing and educating yourself on what their spring/summer requirements will be. 

There will be things that you will do wrong,  plants will die, etc. but keep track of what you do, when you do it, and what you used.  Learn from your mistakes and every year, enjoy a better and better lawn.