Gardening thread - NO politics allowed

<p>I'm so tired of trying to keep up with the political threads; I keep waiting for Hindoo to start a thread (to no avail), but that doesn't seem to be happening; I reflected on what were some of the most helpful non-college related threads I've participated in are. Honestly, I've learned a lot about a variety of things, but I feel you guys have saved me the most time when it comes to gardening/landscaping issues. I got good advice when it came to moss growing in between our patio pavers (vinegar!) and I got good advice that it was OK to trim some bushes early on (wish I had gone even smaller).</p>

<p>So, I thought, with fall approaching (and here in Illinois we're beginning to see the earliest of signs of fall in minor leaf color changes), I thought I'd bring up the topic of what things need to be taken care of at this time of the year.</p>

<p>As for me... I have yet more pruning to do on some bushes (but it's 92 degrees here today, so that will wait), I really need to figure out why my black-eyed susans leaves get spotty brown and die, need to get on top of my watering (first time this summer we've really been rain deficient) my lawn, and figure out if I want to put in some fall beds. Mums never come back no matter how much effort I put into them.</p>

<p>I found out that several of our trees/bushes suffer from leaf scorch - they are close to the pool and I was told even vapors of the pool chemicals can scorch the leaves. Doesn't do any harm to the trees/bushes, except the leaves burn out before they get a chance to change beautiful colors in the fall (including some quaking aspen trees). By the way, we don't use chlorine based chemicals for the pool; we use another kind. </p>

<p>Am hoping my raspberry bushes produce a second crop; my basil is going crazy, but I missed some early flowering that leads to seed, so I may have to use up what's there and be done with basil. Cilantro plant went to seed (while we were out of town), so I cut it back... obviously too far, because it didn't regrow. Since it grows so fast, I could probably buy another plant and it would last a while (it and the basil are in containers, so I can move them indoors if we get an early frost). </p>

<p>What challenges are you facing with your yard, landscaping, garden that you need to tackle now that we're past Labor Day?</p>

<p>I keep waiting for it to rain so I can skip a week of having to water my trees and importantly, have a smaller water bill. We usually start to get some rain by around November (last rain is usually around March/April). It'll also green-up in the wild areas once the rain starts.</p>

<p>Just a little to early, dry, and hot ( 104 last week) to plant here ( N.Cal valley), but there is still time get in perenials, bulbs, shallots and garlic if you live somewhere where fall is a good planting season.</p>

<p>It's been dry, dry, dry in the Philadelphia area. Even the crabgrass in my lawn has withered and died. (I don't water lawns - I know the grass will bounce back after a couple of good rains.) I am getting sick of dragging around the hoses to spring-planted shrubs and perennials.</p>

<p>Two fun gifts from the compost pile: a couple vines that are yielding a great crop of little white pumpkins (my favorite farm stand gave me a few last fall; after Thanksgiving, I chopped 'em up and tossed 'em in the pile) and a yellow cherry tomato plant. I didn't plant any tomatoes this year after a really pitiful crop last year, so it's quite a treat to pick and eat while I'm out in the beds.</p>

<p>I always enjoy letting a few compost surprises take root and grow to see what I'll get. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. (Note to self: Keep all amaranth plants that have gone to seed <em>out</em> of the compost pile!)</p>

<p>And thanks to teri for starting this thread!</p>

<p>Gardening experts- who can tell me how to best prune a Clematis that seems to flower on new growth only? I want it to get big and cover a section of wall, but I also want lots of flowers. First summer I had about a dozen, this summer I had tons of flowers, but have all sorts of long leggy growth. how far back should I prune it?</p>

<p>I love those huge giant bright orange pumpkins. I don't like the cost so decided to try to grow my own this year.
First set of plants- Eaten by gophers, the wire in the planter boxes had disappeared. Of course this is after I have a few tiny pumpkins.
2nd try- I redo the wire. All is going well. Yesterday I go out and the dog has dug up the entire bed.
I think I might give up.
I did have the best year ever in terms of my fruit trees. Apricots and plums.
I need to decide if I want to tackle the job of redoing all my vegetable garden raised beds. They all need new wire.
The gophers seem to be having a great year.
I am thrilled with how well my hydranga plants are doing.</p>

<p>Bless you teri, for this thread!! </p>

<p>I hope someone can give me caladium advice. I've used strapleaf caladiums instead of summer color and they are now petering out due to heat. Here in Texas, we don't get cold enough for them to winter over outside. Is it too early for me to dig up bulbs and put them in the fridge?</p>

<p>I also am interested in how to prune a clematis. It's about 3 years old and has never flowered, so I am obviously doing something wrong.</p>

<p>And, how about coneflowers? I'd like them to spread, so do I just leave them alone and never cut off the dead flowers?</p>

<p>Clematis.com:</a> How To Guides</p>

<p>Found this about pruning clematis.</p>

<p>"how about coneflowers? I'd like them to spread, so do I just leave them alone and never cut off the dead flowers?"</p>

<p>Do you mean echinacea ( purple coneflowers; I think rudbeckia are called coneflowers too, and I don't know about those)? For echinacea, I don't think they self sow too much, but you can divide them every year or two.</p>

<p>Re pruning clematis: short answer is it depends on what kind of clematis you have. I found a good synopsis about the three types and when to prune on Organic Gardening's website. (Sorry - wasn't sure if I could paste link or not.)</p>

<p>Coneflowers (assume you mean echinacea?) will flower from seed, but the goldfinches around here usually get to them before they have a chance to fall to the ground and sprout. That is, if the rabbits don't nip them in the bud first!</p>

<p>packer - I also have coneflowers, and assumed since they're a perennial (I'm not even going to check the spelling on that), that they'll just naturally multiply on their own without any help? Did you just plant them this year. I've not deadheaded them before.</p>

<p>Speaking of which... I've discovered that I'm totally lacking in the topic of deadheading, or cutting back (case in point, my cilantro). I'm also suspecting that I haven't done a good job with my basil since it's trying so hard to flower.</p>

<p>I have been working on a new area in my yard for the last year and am having trouble deciding what to plant to finish off the beds.</p>

<p>Let me describe the area - and perhaps people can come back with suggestions for plants.</p>

<p>We have a long ranch style, single story typical California house. In front of the house, basically centered on the house, is a slate patio 15 feet wide and perhaps 60 feet long. The 60 foot direction is parallel the house. What we have done is create a walkway from the same slate material about 4 feet long that wanders in a curving manner out to a little round sitting area - about 12 feet in diameter. It is roughly even with the end of the house and about 25 feet from the corner.</p>

<p>Wrapped around the sitting area is a rose garden with about 40 hybrid tea roses and then a rose hedge around the far side of the bed to define the end of that bed. All of that was last fall's project.</p>

<p>This spring we started filling in the beds on either side of the walkway. On both sides of the walkway we put in lavender. On the side away from the house we have Coreopsis, Shasta Daisies, purple Echinecea (coneflowers), and gazanias in a bed that is roughly 15 feet wide and as long as the walkway (about 40 feet.)</p>

<p>The side next to the house is the part remaining to be completed. So far we have Hydrangas next to the house, lavender next to the walk way, and a gap in between of about 10 feet. I have a few rubeckea (black eyed susans), and a few Echinecea (white this time) for part of the gap but need probably 2 additional plants, ideally perennials, that are in the 18-24 inch tall category.</p>

<p>Thoughts / Suggestions?</p>

<p>mom60 - looks like both our dogs are in the doghouse... mine threw up all over our bedding nice and early this morning... Not my friend today.</p>

<p>flatlander - I think you can link, as long as it's not a blog or a youtube-type site.</p>

<p>scualum - unfortunately, you've already planted everything I would have suggested!</p>

<p>My PREVIOUS forum addiction</p>

<p>The</a> GardenWeb Forums - GardenWeb</p>

<p>Scualum; Whats the soil and irrigation like? How about some of the taller sedums, like "Spectabile (?sp) Autumn Joy" or agastache?</p>

<p>Bev's</a> Colorado Garden: Astonishing Agastache 'Ava'</p>

<p>I am really looking forward to trying the clematis in this new series (small plants with large flowers, repeat bloomers). My favorite feature is the recommended "ponytail cut" in which you grab the plant near the base when the crocus bloom in March and chop the whole thing off 12 inches from the base of the plant. Now that's a pruning instruction that I can live with! I read about them here:
Pacific</a> NW | Fine Vines | These clematis just keep on coming | Seattle Times Newspaper</p>

<p>aren't there some perennial Salvias now?</p>

<p>So, does that mean I leave the clematis all big & messy for now, or can i trim them now and again in the spring?</p>