What steals your time in the garden?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Whether it's weeding, dragging hoses, staking, edging,deadheading, making compost, spreading mulch, creating new gardens or revamping gardens, let's try and help each other with any good ideas we might have so we can enjoy our gardens more and work fewer hours.

This year I intend to drive in my rebar stakes for the dahlias long before I plant them and leave them in place so I won't have to face it as an annual job.

The only way I can see to cut back on the deadheading of daylilies time is to halve each of them in April so there will just be half the usual number of them.

Thumbnail by pirl
Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

Hi Pirl! Happy Valentines Day. For me it's staking and restaking. It seems to be an endless job going from one type of plant to another in succesive blooms.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks and Happy Valentine's Day to you as well.

Staking is a chore and then tying up the dahlias, in my case, as they continue to grow just becomes a chore. This year I'll add string at various points along the rebar so it won't be constant trips to the garage for more string.

Some tall bearded irises need staking and others don't. I don't even like the look of stakes and if I don't do it we're sure to have enough of a breeze or wind that I end up regretting it.

I'm thankful my hundreds of lilies don't need staking!

Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

Pirl, That's why I stopped growing Dahlias and Glads. More than half of my lilies do need staking as well as some of the Iris. Here, the stakes never get put away, just get transferred from one type of plant to another as the next blooming period starts.

The Peony Hoops also get pulled out again for some of the taller fall bloomers.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I leave the peony cages in place all year. Some other bloomer always seems to hide them well enough and it's one less thing to do.

Dahlias provide such a great show from July to November that I'd rather have to handle the staking than be without them. I gave up on glads years ago. Somehow they always remind me of funerals.

Southeast, NE(Zone 5a)

The time sucker for me is weeding. I must prepare better ahead of time this year.

I can relate to never putting the stakes away, but moving them around instead! In fact, I think there may be some I forgot to bring in this winter.

Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

McGlory, I was still finding them in December.

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

LOL! I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks of glads as funeral flowers!

Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

Some people think that about lilies too. How dare they!!!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I guess I could plant glads around the area where we have our pets ashes and the burial area for the neighborhood duck, a rabbit and a few birds but I like the calm feeling of a field of hostas there.

Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

For me, I spend a huge amount of time deadheading...mainly annuals and daylilies, but it's worth it. Pickung up rose petals is another less than exciting task.
I have to keep telling myself that no one is going to scrutinize the garden the way I do...but does it sink in ? NO !
Yes, staking in advance is a very smart thing to do and a definite time saver.

Milwaukee, WI

stakeing here also leave nthe peony rings in all year . Always trying to find more stakes and then deaheading. But I love my daylilies

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

Am I the only one who spends most of her time trying to eradicate Bermuda grass?

Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

LOL maybe, Sheryl. I deadhead the DL's daily, the same for the Iris. The rest of them I do every few days. The Gaillardias are bloom factories. I only do them weekly.

Southeast, NE(Zone 5a)

Eradicating Bermuda grass counts as weeding for me, Pagan.

Sheesh! Am I supposed to pick up rose petals? I didn't know that! Is that for disease reasons or aesthetics?

Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

strictly for aesthetics...the petals get all caked together on top of the things growing under the roses.

Southeast, NE(Zone 5a)

Oh good! My roses are too little yet to have anything growing under them. I'll put that chore off for a few years. In the meantime, petals look kind of pretty scattered all over the mulch. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! LOL Don't need more chores.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

I dont have enough garden that requires staking.I leave the stakes in for the lilies,I have always marked where they are when I plant the bulbs.Many of mine are so new they dont need staking,mostly asiatics.
I will have to re d- drive the stakes this spring. The deer have bent them.
I spend a lot of time taking cronological pictures of my gardens so I have a winter visual as to where to plant new things.Once a month I photo every garden from the border,I use the early spring and mid summer photos to see where plants are needed.
Thanks for the Sarah Vaughn Valantines song Stormy. She is a favorite of mine.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Petals on roses? Not if you have deer! IF a rose escapes the attack of the deer I do pick up the petals. They're pretty enough on the ground for the first day but then turn ugly.

We've never had Bermuda grass and it seems from what Pagancat said it isn't desirable. Round Up doesn't kill it? Or is it that it has running roots and comes right back? Is it like Zoysia?

The lilies have stems like mini trees so they don't need staking, thankfully. Now if I could teach the daylilies to not drop their flowers it would be a great relief.

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

It is the bane of my existence. It spreads above ground, below ground and by seed. It is susceptible to Round Up (although some idiots were working on a Round Up resistant type for golf courses - I hope the outcry stopped them) but it takes anywhere from a week to 2 (here) to work. Once it gets inside your plants, you pretty much have to dig them up to eradicate it.

I keep saying if I ever buy another piece of property, Bermuda grass would be a deal breaker. The only situation it doesn't like is shady. More trees!!!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Am I right in guessing your only choice is constant digging? Too bad they don't have an Olympics category for it - you'd win.

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

LOL - yup, bare-handed digging, singles.... that or being the poster child as to whether or not Round-up really does have any toxic properties.....

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

For me it is watering. I have one outside faucet with a double bib. One hose goes around the front and the other goes around the back. I guess we are talking 75-100 ft of hose each direction. Till I drag the hoses around the yard and water everything it takes an hour or more each time I water. I did put in some hose guards and a long handled watering wand. But have to carefully place the hose through some areas to reach others I have some stepping stones placed in the beds so I can reach the window boxes and living wreaths. I usually have to take the wreaths down and soak them. They aren't bad coming down up going back up them are heavy and drippy. I try to water the front one day and the back another or it would take even longer. We haven't even talked about watering the veggie garden which is close to the outside faucet but doesn't have stakes to keep the hose in line and then there is the occasional watering of the Leland Cyprus or the evergreens that requires getting out the soaker hose. Till it is all done I'm a sopping mess sometimes on a hot day that is kind of nice but that well water is cold no matter how hot the day is. LOL

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Good grief.Thats one of my peves too.
I use a sprinkler and water the lawn at the same time.
Placing the hose so it wont drag over plants is a nuisence. I also have guides (rebar ,my fav) but sometimes the hose flips over and I have to go back and re ajust.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Ric has talked about putting in a second "summer" faucet at the other end of the house by the garage. That would help some as the beds by the end of the drive are hard to reach and the pots that sit on the deck and all the little pots by the potting shed would also be in easy reach. But I would still have to drag the other hoses the full length to reach the roses out on the split rail fence out front and the back corner, but somehow going out isn't as hard as going around that end.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I once owned a home with just one faucet so I can appreciate all you go through. When I called the plumber and saw how cheap it was (way back, long long ago) I had another faucet added in the back and it felt like the best gift to myself ever!

We have five faucets here (L shaped house) and an irrigation system so watering isn't the problem it could have been. Here we've had one faucet removed and two others added. Age is a witch!

Jack made copper hose guides with wooden tops, shown here at the bottom center. The total length is probably about 14" and they stay put quite well except for the few near the lawn, which the mowing guy loves to hit. At least they don't break.

Thumbnail by pirl
Sparta, NJ(Zone 6a)

My husband installed a faucet on our deck after he saw me making oodles of trips to the kitchen sink or dragging the hose up one story and leaving it dangling over the railing. It's a delight when it works. It usually cracks over the winter and the first watering consists of watering the walkway with great gushes of water. This year he blew air through the line in an attempt to keep this from happening. It would be nice if it works since it usually takes him the entire summer to get around to fixing it for me!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Bribe him! No matter what it takes it's worth it.

(Zone 5a)

80' of chickweed that needs dug every spring. Hand watering the astilbes and other water lovers. And, keeping on top of all the other weeds that pop up.

Plenty of faucets and hoses are indeed a great gift!!

I sure can't wait to get started on all those weeds :o)

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Have you tried the greenhouse type of weed fabric? We did that to many of our paths last year and it ended the constant weeding - thank God! That was way too much work.

Add compost every year for the astilbes - it's a great help to keep their roots cool and damp.

I think most of us are itchy to get outside even if it's just for a walk around the garden.

(Zone 5a)

I echo your age comment above. It may come to weed fabric if I could just quit moving plants around :o)

I've resorted to looking at the stems I left in the beds last year. Even the shorter astilbe stems are poking thru the deep snow.

Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

Watering is a real bear for me too. I have 3 faucets now and have been working on a drip sytsem for the past season for my roadside bed. It's still not right. It needs at least 4 more hoses and now I find that there is a water pressure problem getting enough water out there to all of the hoses.
Hand watering by hose takes me 3 hours to do everything, even though I keep one sprinkler running in the roadside bed most days.The bed is so big that I have to move the sprinkler a number of times to cover the whole bed. I try to break the watering up over different days.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Spraying for the Red Lily Beetle comes to mind.
I have just entered a note on my desktop daybook, to order the 3 gallon rolling spray tank from Lee Tools.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

When we did over one garden I made the mistake of planting too close to the house and those astilbe do not get sufficient water so I planted them with water crystals. We'll see how well they did when spring arrives.

(Zone 5a)

I've been curious about water crystals. They sure seem like a good idea. Keep us posted on your results!

I need to mix in more compost around my astilbes. They seem to depleat the soil and I spent too much money to lose any of them now!

The neighbors have been talking about cutting down the walnut tree that shades the astilbes, so I may be moving them anyway. It would be a good time to add crystals to the new planting hole if it happens.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I'd do both: compost for the area around the root ball along with crystals in case of some unexpected hot spell in spring. I'd add more compost as mulch - 2".

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I use crystals in my pots and window/deck boxes. Those crystals have saved many a plant for me as I tend to let them go just one day too long before I water. I haven't tried putting them in the beds yet. That might be an idea as I have wide eaves on the house and my front beds do get dry especially in the winter when you don't normally water. I just did a 10 gallon water exchange from the aquarium and those 10 gallons along with that fish poop went on the Azaleas in that bed.LOL Having a summer faucet isn't really a problem after all my youngest son Jamie is a plumber. LOL Not to mention that Ric or Josh could easily do the job. The real problem is I don't have a basement. My house is built on a concrete slab with a crawl space and no one wants to crawl in there to do the job. I will agree that it isn't the nicest spot to work but it isn't stone or mud it is concrete and we do have a couple of those things they use in garages to roll under cars. Might just use one of those Mother Day vouchers this year, to get it done. LOL

Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

I too put the water crystals in all of my planting last year, except for where the ground stays damp. We shall see what happens.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Love that Mother's Day voucher, Holly. It could be done after a long day working so their clothes wouldn't necessarily reflect anything more to soil them.

One of the lines we added was done by the skinny plumber's son who is also a plumber and couldn't have taken an hour - bless him! We do have a basement but also have crawl space and that was precisely where he had to work.

Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

Holly is very good at making the most of those vouchers. LOL

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