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trisherina 08-06-2006 10:47 PM

the dirt on Jack
 
I think we need a gardening thread for the bazillion questions we have for Jack.

Today after trimming a dozen shrubs, I'm putting away the fertilizer, by gum. :cool:

Here's my latest question. I weed killed a couple of weeks ago. All is well. When should I put down you-know-who's Turf Builder? Now, or in the fall?

PS thanks in advance for being kind enough to allow the question!

Jack Flanders 08-07-2006 02:27 AM

:D So the Fairy Ring did it? That was so easy. Feed the lawn in late September and don't do the weed kill until April. And don't fertilize the shrubs unless they're Azaleas or Rhodos or other acid loving shrubs.

madasacutsnake 08-07-2006 03:53 AM

My hollyhocks aren't growing. They're not dying. They're just haven't grown at all since I put them in six months ago.

Why?

Jack Flanders 08-07-2006 04:10 AM

Have you ever done a soil test? Maybe you need more organic material. Have you planted them there before and did they bloom? Do you compost your vegetable scraps?

Zeismyhero 08-07-2006 10:41 AM

Mulchity mulch...
 
I put down some "black diamond" mulch in my back yard. Underneath that, the kiddies who lived there before had put down this kind of plastic stuff to keep the grass from growing. Now, since putting down the mulch, I have WILD looking crabby grass growing like crazy in the mulch!

Could my mulch have whacky grass seed mixed into it? What should I do - keep weeding or use a spray weed killer.

Thanks, Jack!

trisherina 08-07-2006 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jack Flanders
:D So the Fairy Ring did it? That was so easy. Feed the lawn in late September and don't do the weed kill until April. And don't fertilize the shrubs unless they're Azaleas or Rhodos or other acid loving shrubs.

I'm going to leave the darn Fairy Ring (they're actually two arcs) alone, having heard of their legendary recalcitrance. I really don't mind visiting fairies! But but... I read on some site or other that you should kill weeds as late in the year as possible so that the weeds that come up in April will only be the ones that blow in, not from your old ones propagating. So do you mean leave it be now 'til April? And no turf building 'til September... thank you, thank you, that's the best news I've heard all week.

What's the best flowering annual or perennial to plant in a shady, windy border? (Sounds delightful, doesn't it?)

If you ever want to hang out in Zone 3a, you're welcome!

ambo 08-07-2006 01:01 PM

Oh man, this thread is a godsend. I am taking care of my yard myself for the first time, and I have no expertise at all.

Greg just put down weed and feed. The lawn is 70% weeds. They are pretty weeds (not sure what they are - a ground cover of some kind), but he wants them out of there. Was that a mistake?

My friend tells me I need to feed all my plants all the time. Oh my god. Is this true? This is a BIG yard.

I assume I need to stay on top of the weeds pretty much all summer, right? And trim the dead roses and African lilies? Shouldn't all the other trimming wait until fall or winter? I am in northern California, so we don't really get a severe winter.

As you can see, I am sooooo confused. Any help you can offer Jack, of a very basic, no-nothing-at-all variety, would be greatly appreciated.

Brynn 08-07-2006 04:40 PM

Roses
 
Omg, what a great thread!

Jack (or anybody who knows - don't want to overload her supremeness with idiotic questions, but unfortunately, those are the only kind of gardening ones I have :D ) - so what's the deal with roses?

I've got some climbing roses - do they benefit from radical pruning in Feb. like other rose bushes? Or will I be really really sorry?

I'm zone 7-8 Pacific Northwest and it's pretty dry in the summer. Water those babies every day? Right now they get it twice a week and are not thrilled.

Do the yellow leaves w/ black spots on them mean not enough water or is that some sort of fungus that I need to buy some kind of medication for?

Jack Flanders 08-07-2006 06:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zeismyhero
I put down some "black diamond" mulch in my back yard. Underneath that, the kiddies who lived there before had put down this kind of plastic stuff to keep the grass from growing. Now, since putting down the mulch, I have WILD looking crabby grass growing like crazy in the mulch!

Could my mulch have whacky grass seed mixed into it? What should I do - keep weeding or use a spray weed killer.

Thanks, Jack!

Are there other plants in the mulch like shrubs, perennials or trees? If not use Roundup all over to kill off the crabby grass and ungerminated seeds. If there are plants, you can carefully on a windless day apply the Roundup topically to the individual clumps of grass. Yes, there could be grass seed mixed in with the mulch. Was the mulch in bags or did you buy it delivered in bulk? That's a bummer getting bad "grass," man!!! :mad:

Next spring apply a pre-emergent herbicide which should help keep weeds down but won't hurt existing plants if you have them.

Jack Flanders 08-07-2006 06:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by trisherina

What's the best flowering annual or perennial to plant in a shady, windy border? (Sounds delightful, doesn't it?)

If you ever want to hang out in Zone 3a, you're welcome!

What is your favorite color? Yeah, Monty Python! How tall do you need? What season? Spring - summer - fall? or all of them? I'll get back to you on that one. I live in Zone 6b so have a few more plants to work with than you do.

Jack Flanders 08-07-2006 06:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ambo
Oh man, this thread is a godsend. I am taking care of my yard myself for the first time, and I have no expertise at all.

Greg just put down weed and feed. The lawn is 70% weeds. They are pretty weeds (not sure what they are - a ground cover of some kind), but he wants them out of there. Was that a mistake?

My friend tells me I need to feed all my plants all the time. Oh my god. Is this true? This is a BIG yard.

I assume I need to stay on top of the weeds pretty much all summer, right? And trim the dead roses and African lilies? Shouldn't all the other trimming wait until fall or winter? I am in northern California, so we don't really get a severe winter.

As you can see, I am sooooo confused. Any help you can offer Jack, of a very basic, no-nothing-at-all variety, would be greatly appreciated.

1. The healthier and thicker the grass, the fewer the weeds. If the weed killer works rake the exposed soil and put some new grass seed down to thicken the turf. Follow the directions for your part of the country.

2. Ok, what kind of plants do you have? That can make a big difference on when or what to fertilize. Do you have a County Extension office? If you have a question about the ID of your plants, they maybe able to give some help. Since we're just writing back and forth, it's hard for me to know what you have. Maybe you should invest some moolah in a few plant books. I don't buy shoes, I buy plant books!!

3a. Try to weed when you have the time. Don't get all stressed out over it - it's supposed to be relaxing ( have a cocktail or two and play some good music!)

3b. Yes, trim the dead flowers. Again, I don't know what your other plants are so I really can't tell you when to trim them or cut them back.

Try to find out what you have and then I can get more specific. That is your assignment, Missy! Get to it!!

Jack Flanders 08-07-2006 07:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brynn
Omg, what a great thread!

Jack (or anybody who knows - don't want to overload her supremeness with idiotic questions, but unfortunately, those are the only kind of gardening ones I have :D ) - so what's the deal with roses?

I've got some climbing roses - do they benefit from radical pruning in Feb. like other rose bushes? Or will I be really really sorry?

I'm zone 7-8 Pacific Northwest and it's pretty dry in the summer. Water those babies every day? Right now they get it twice a week and are not thrilled.

Do the yellow leaves w/ black spots on them mean not enough water or is that some sort of fungus that I need to buy some kind of medication for?

I've got a climbing rose in my tiny back yard that I prune in April but then I also live in New Jersey. If people in your area do the pruning in Feb. then probably that's when you should do it. Don't cut it way back. Is it next to a fence or side of the house? I try to shape mine in a flat sort of hoizontal branching pattern -espalier- since I don't have a lot of room right there.

Do you compost? If not get some humus and incorporate into soil around the plants. This should help hold moisture for the plants to use and keep the need for daily watering down.

Roses are susceptible to a lot of diseases including "black spot." Go to your local nursery/garden center and take some leaves to show them what your problem is. Hopefully, you'll find an employee who knows something about roses. Good luck!! Many times, I've gone to a nursery for my own plant shopping gratification and end up helping the hapless plant shoppers sort out their problems because of the f*ckin' morons that work there who don't know anything about plants.

(P.S.) We spent a week recently in Maine. It was the beginning of the heat wave, so it actually reached the 90's up there, too. Spent many an hour neck deep in the lake!!! It was glorious!!!

Jack Flanders 08-07-2006 07:25 PM

Ok, guys, I enjoyed your questions - keep 'em coming. Also remember that we live in different climates, so I may not know where you live in this crazy, mixed up world.

I need a drink!! Skoal!

Avalon 08-07-2006 08:00 PM

Jack quote:
If not use Roundup all over to kill off the crabby grass and ungerminated seeds. If there are plants, you can carefully on a windless day apply the Roundup topically to the individual clumps of grass.


My only advice is to be careful with the roundup if you have pets. My neighbor's old english sheep dog nearly died after licking his paws; he walked over the area she had sprayed with Roundup. :( No matter what the label says, trust me on this one.

dinzdale 08-07-2006 08:24 PM

:)


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