Monday, February 4, 2008
Know thy plant sizes!I order a lot (too much, says DH) via mailorder. Some companies refer to their plant pot sizes in inches, others in liquid measures (pint, quart, gallon, etc.)
It's hard to compare plant prices between companies when that's the case. I recently came across these helpful conversions; I'll also add the "D" sizes and other standard descriptors as I can confirm their actual sizes:
Size = Pot diameter = "D" size
pint...................4" pot..............D2 or D3 (?)
quart................5 to 6" pot........D3 or D4 (?)
gallon...............7 to 8" pot
3 gallon...........10" pot
7 gallon............14" pot.............D60 (?)
10 gallon..........20" pot
15 gallon..........24" pot
20 gallon..........30" pot
25-30 gallon....35" pot
Of course, it pays to read the description, especially for trees and shrubs, to know if the plant is going to arrive as a 6" or 6' tall specimen.
Saturday, July 1, 2006
Plants are like your wardrobe - know when it's time to let them go!Sometimes it's hard to let go of those clothes that we love, but are showing their age. Similarly, it can be hard to look critically at a plant that has outlived its usefulness in our landscape.
Today I dug up a (now large) division of one of the original hostas that were here when we bought the house. These hostas are nothing to write home about: solid green, but they grow fast and are virus-resistant, or so it seems.
The spring after we moved in, I dug up a few of these gargantuan plants and divided them, placing the divisions in my brand-new "shade garden" around the big pond. For five years now, these plants have served me faithfully - steadily growing larger and helping provide "greenery" in an area that began as nothing more than hardscape (paths, pond), and mulch.
But one of them is in an area where my pulmonaria are also doing quite nicely, and I have several new pulmonaria on their way. So today I decided it is time to make way for the new plants. In its place, I put an upright, silvery-blue hosta that will nicely complement the Brunnera and pulmonaria foliage nearby, and doesn't have the same sprawling habit as its predecessor.
Most likely, I'll divide and pot up some of the excavated plant, and pass them along next spring. It's a good old garden stalwart - and hopefully it will serve other gardeners as well as it has me!
Sunday, June 18, 2006
You can cut flowers and enjoy them, or deadhead them laterI've figured out it's really a shame to "waste" armloads of cutflowers by leaving them in the garden, when I'm going to deadhead them after the blooms are spent anyway.
Granted, some flowers are better enjoyed on the plant, but we shouldn't hesitate to cut the ones that can be enjoyed uplose indoors while in their prime.
Monday, June 20, 2005
Feed and water the soil, not the plantsSomewhere I read that we should focus on caring for the soil and let the soil take care of the plants. Makes sense to me. How often do I hear myself saying "I'm watering (or fertilizing) the plants" when I should be thinking in terms of building up the soil structure with amendments and ensuring it has adequate moisture and nutrients to nourish the plants.
I have three compost piles are going full-speed this summer, but even if I manage to get two finished batches this summer, they can't possibly provide enough finished compost for the beds I have in place now. I'm thinking I should call my favorite horse farm and pick up a few more loads of well-rotted manure yet this summer, and definitely this fall as the plants go dormant.
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Plant what you'll eat, and eat what you plant!Every year, the January blah's make it easy to succumb to the seductive catalog descriptions of exotic vegetables. Over the years, I'm slowly realizing it's better to limit my experimentation to one or two varieties each year, and stick with the mostly tried-and-true vegetable varieties otherwise.
Letting food rot without being picked is a terrible waste, so I'm committed this year to keeping the garden picked as everything is just-ripe. (After all, isn't tender, succulent produce one of the main reasons for having a garden?)
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