The people on this thread are interested in discussion, seed and plant trading, and learning in general about native plants and wildflowers.
We are dedicated to plant conservation and love to demomstrate what can be done with the native plants that have been ignored by the nurseries in favor of the exotics. Many of the plants in our yards are native and we are always looking to improve. We are sure there are others out there doing the same thing and loving it as much as we do. Please let us talk about what you are doing and what you have accomplished.
We hope to hear from all you dedicated gardeners. Let us have some fun.
Hello James, so nice to hear fom you. I am glad the Frostweed is doing well, I hope it blooms for you this year. The butterfly milkweed that you gave me in a pot is blooming, and looks beautiful.
The pineapple sage is not blooming yet, but looking good, and the seedlings are coming along fine.
I thank you very much for all of them, and hope to hear from you about the progress of all your plants.
I'm assuming this Plains Coreopsis is a native here. I found a tiny little flower last year while I was walking, pulled it up and transplanted it in my yard. This year I got a LOT more of them. lol I have had to pull out quite a few that were getting so big and smothering others.
These are some very interesting Four O'clocks ( Mirabilis jalapa ) growing in my garden.
All the different colors are on one plant, and it evolved by itself, this is the first year that I have had so many colors on one plant.
Four O'clocks are an adapted species from South America.
They are tender perennials in this area, they die to the ground in the winter and come back from the tuberous roots, which get bigger every year. The flowers are very fragrant, and open in the evening when the temperature goes down and remain open till about 10 the next morning.
I have a mystery. There are two shrubs blooming right now. They are growing on the other side of the creek in soil that has a high clay content. The area is protected from high winds. One is growing in part shade just under the canopy of a live oak. The other gets full sun.
The shrub is about 8 - 9 feet tall and just about that wide.
This is a photo of part of the one in part shade. It gets late afternoon sun.
This is a close-up I took yesterday of one of the flower clusters. It has an aroma reminescent of citrus, attracting lots of bees and butterflies. In part shade, the clusters in the flower panicle are very close together.
A close-up of a panicle shows a four-petaled slightly bell shaped flower. It has two anthers and stamen. The stigma is encased within the bell. The stamen angle inward. I examined the buds with a magnifying glass. The sepals were shorter than A. gratissima and hairless. Photos of A. gratissima on TAMU's DFT Vascular website show very hairy sepals and flowers with four anthers and stamen..
Last photo,a close-up of a panicle on the shrub getting full sun. The stem sections between the flower clusters on the panicle are longer making the panicle about 12 - 14" long. The flower clusters on this bush are very dense, many more flowers than on A. gratissima which have fewer, less dense clusters. According to TAMU, A. gratissima is invasive and forms great big thickets. The shrubs I have are very well behaved, slow growers that not sent out suckers or seedlings. What I have may be a variant. I couldn't find anything in my books or on the Internet that looked exactly like my shrub. Does anyone know what this is? I want to take cuttings to put in my garden, but not before identifying it.
They don't smell like a privet. More like vanilla flavored citrus. I'll have to keep an eye on them because I can't remember if they are evergreen. The leaves are not very thick. In full sun, the leaves fold up almost completely along the main vein. The leaves seem to be too thin to be evergreen. The shrubs have been here at least 6 years. They don't seem to be fast growers.
dI've sent about 10 photos to A & M. I'll give them a chance to ID it first. It took forever to upload these photos.
Josephine had a list of native Texas trees a short while ago toward the end of Part 4. I'd like to add to it. It's a big shrub/small tree to 25 feet called the Common Hop-tree, Ptelea trifoliata. I have seen a few that tall near creeks, but the 3 I have, are about 12 feet tall, All three trees are growing near our creek. They have a rounded shape. In the past various parts of the tree ave been used medicinally. It is supposed to have some disagreeable odors. I don't go around squashing leaves. The leaves are a bright gree which makes it stand out. The flowers are small. It's the "hops" that make it an attractive tree. It has been planted as an ornamental. The tree also has food value to wildlife.
The last photo shows the trunk. It has a variety of splotches in several colors. I wish this were closer to the house. A neighbor has two growing right in the creek bed. The creek is seasonal, but last year, it had water in a great part of the year without any damage. Must like water.
Veronica, that sure is a lovely tree, I had never seen it, I suppose the hops are the seeds.
May be you can save us some. Thank you for showing it to us, you and Trois sure have a lot of interesting plants around your property. I suppose it is deciduous?
frostweed, I was in Ft. Davis this past weekend for a family reunion and since they have had 3 months of rain...it was Gorgeous! The tree that I fell in love with was growing outside our room at the Hotel Limpia. Got a book and looked it up and here you are showing a bloom of the same tree. I was going to check with a trusted, local nursery if I could get one to grow "over" here. Here's what the West Texas version looked like.
PS: Yes, that was the color of the sky the whole weekend !!!
Kipper, you need to look at the trees while they are blooming to get the color you want since the color can vary quite a bit. That pink color is outstanding. I've found that grasshoppers and katydids will quickly denude a Desert Willow. I've found it frustrating to grown one here because of that. Overwintering is no problem at all.
Josephine, It was really more than that one tree. The whole area of the Davis Mountains is in full bloom from the prickly pears, cholla cactus, red sages, century plants and every type of wildflower that you can think of. Some time this weekend I will find the time to post just a few of the 65 images on the "Photo" forum. Will let ya'll know.
Still wishing I was out there but somebody's got to make a living.
yep two of them - they were really small ones I could not fit the bigger one in the car - LOL They only send the stalk up and bloom once and then the bigger plant dies - the great thing they have tons of little ones around the edge to share! Just be careful the sap will get you like the P. Ivy - or so Ihave found. They had them in a sandy rock mix I have them in soil for now that is grated to help pull the water away... Planted by my little yucca in the Texana area... still need that cow skull to really pull it off...
yea - I had one for a while but it was a zebra and it did not feel right ... got to get out there and find one but I want one with horns this time, my wife is going to hate it at first but ummm maybe with time... I am heading to San An. in July and hope to find one there. Maybe at Buceys Flea Market they have a great plant guy there to... getting ideas here...
oh I know - I thought about it but I have to go up to OK to look after the family acres up there. Maggie can you send me the one or two best in San An so I can hit them in July? Beyond the Flea market I have no idea where to go...
The consensus of the San Anotonians was that Milberger's (3920 North Loop 1604 East) and Rainbow Gardens (2585 Thousand Oaks Dr) were the best. There is actually another Rainbow Gardens - I think on Bandera - but this one is closer to Milbergers, which makes it easier (time wise) to get from one to the other. I'll sure let you know which of the two I liked better.
In July (16th), some of us are getting together to visit some nurseries in Austin: http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/519305/ I think one that we'll be going to is The Natural Gardener. They are all about natives and organic gardening - the guy who owns the place also owns the Lady Bug line of organic products: http://www.naturalgardeneraustin.com/ The day we're going they have a class on successful butterfly gardening in Central TX, but I figure the concepts should hold true for any butterfly garden.
Frostweed and other who went on our nature trip/walk I found that white flower that looked like the lizards tail but was not so long... I have a little bit here I might scan so you can see what I am talking about - it is White Sweet Clover Melilotus Alba they are not native and are from Europe but they are great for honey and some butterflies... now I dont know if I should keep it or pull it! Here is the link - http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/62794/index.html
trois - nope house plant is a tropical this is a native from here, I have the tropical in the house good looking plant but not even the same family. I dont know why we called it that growing up - blame it on my mother she was from - New York City- so she might have a Northern common name for it...
I got a Spadderdock(Nuphar Luteum) for my pond anybody had any luck with this here? I know it is a Texas native and I was going to pair it with a small Nymphaea Odorata (white wild waterlily) I found... Now I read the spadderdock tends to grow really fast... Am I going to have a problem on my hands or just extras to share?
Alright I have one more question - there is a large stand of Rumex Crispus - Curly Dock - near me I could nab this fall... are these going to look ok in a garden or to weedy? Any thoughts? Anybody have one in their garden or would think about it?
Trois, John is correct on Number 6. It is an Erect Dayflower, Commelina erecta. In this area they show up in 2 colors, a royal blue and a paler blue.
Number 4: How many petals does each individual flower have? It looks like a privet, either Ligustrum japonicum (Japanese Privet) or Ligustrum lucidum, (Glossy Privet). Do the flowers have any fragrance?
Very good link Bettydee! They are all stunning plants in my view and I have a few of them here - saddly they do not thrive the way I think they should here . . maybe it is just my memories of what they looked like growing up do not match the plants i see in the yard today...
I went to a wedding a year or so back in Dallas where they had a huge oak in the ft yard covered in white rose like flowers.. I had to get a small cutting and think about when seeds might be ready (we know the family so no problem) and they were wired on roses. We asked and they had paid a guy to come out and do it.. .. needless to say their wedding budget was way bigger then ours...
American Plum vrs Mexican Plum - online they say both are native to Texas is one better then the other? I have five coming for postage of the American Plum and wanted to know if this is the better one in ya'lls thinking or the other way around or is there no real diffrence...
John, I copied kipper's photo to my desktop and used my Nikon View to enlarge the section of the photo with the second from the top flower. You can see the wire wrapped around the juniper branch several times. Good work, Kipper.
The American Plum is a native, but not a Texas native. It grows to 10' to 15'. It tends to form thickets easily since it suckers from roots. The Mexican Plum is a native of Texas and does not present any suckering problems. It grows to a larger size — 20' - 25'. Since you have already bought the American Plum, you might want to put a barrier in the ground around your plums. Plant them in a half barrel.
The road leading to our ranch is lined with Chickasaw Plum, Prunus angustifolia. If American Plum suckers the way Chickasaw Plums do, I would put them in a pot!!! The county comes by several times a year and shreds everything within 5+ feet of the road. That is the only thing keeping the plums at bay on the side of the road. You should see them in our neighbor's pasture. Plums are good!
I already got chiggers around here . . . well they had the wrong info I will have to check into it a little more then. Yes I have five coming but for postage ( dollars) so I figure can always trade them off if they are not something I want to keep! They said that they were both native to Texas so they were off a little oh well..
Frostweed, Myself and 5 other people never saw a wire or vine anywhere near the tree. I'll have to ask a friend of mine that lives outside Ft. Davis to drive up and check it out. He volunteers out at the observatory quite often.
Kipper2, I never meant to start a controversy, but those flowers looked really odd on that tree.
I am sure it was not your intention to mislead us. You just took a picture of what you saw.
I really liked the picture of the Goldenball Leadtree, I have one, and I think they are lovely.
Please keep posting, it looks like you really appreciate the beauty of Texas native plants, and I think we all can learn a lot from each other. Josephine.
DW bought a wild flower mix, in a round can. There are always several different cosmos. I don't see any seeds forming on these. They were at a local hardware store. We got really good ones last year from them. I will see if they have any more in a day or two.
I just witnessed my first Datura bloom ever! I had just grabbed the camera, and caught it at the exact moment that it was opening. Here is the 2 blooms about to open. A bee started buzzing over the one on the right, and it started opening immediately! I was in awe!
My hardy Hibiscus are blooming this week. This is near my bedroom window, so I saw these first thing when I rolled out of bed! This is a seedling from the mother plant from 2 years ago. I noticed that there are LOTS of little seedlings beside her, so I guess I should pot them up! They will take over!
I love those too, aren't the little faces sweet? I was given one at the RU in April, but it cooked before I could plant it, when my back was so hurt. :-( I'm determined to get it again, maybe I'll find some during the San Antonio Nursery Date.
3. This shows more leaves and green berries, or maybe they are buds. In the fall they have blue-black small hard berries, about the size of BBs. One of the neighbors calls them "possum berries", the rest call them "I don't know".
kipper. I had no idea that they would get that big! It looks like you have yours in full sun too! I guess I will have to move it! It's at the sunny edge of one of my little shade areas, next to a walkway!
Can you take cuttings from it? So, did it stay green all winter? Tell me more!
I love yours! I will want more of them I can tell, already!
josephine... i don't know about the datura. I got it at a swap in FW last fall. This is the same pitiful little thing I brought to your house to get an ID on... I finally stuck it in the ground next to my Bog Sage to let it "do its thing". It took off! In just a month, it shot up, put on buds and has become very fascinating to me. I went out at 11pm last nite just to smell it again. 'Course I took a flashlight and worried bout snakes and critters the whole time...
Mel, if that is the case I think not, because when I saw the plant it didn't appear to be tha native kind.
The flower looks like it very much,that is why I asked.
I do have plants of the native Jimsonweed, so if you want another plant to compare differences between the two, I can give it to you when you have a chance to come by. Let me know.
When you go out with the flashligh, be sure to look for hummingbird moths, they love those flowers and they are amazing to see.
Good to have you back. Josephine.
Josephine - I have the Dantura you gave me and then in the area between me and the guy behind me there are several that look the same but they have a light blue/light purple flower. Are these also native or is this a transplant gone to the wild area?
About a month ago, I bought 3 plants of Ruellia nudiflora, Wild Petunia, but the pink ones. I went out this afternoon to find the four buds had opened. I rushed back to get my camera. By the time I got back out there, the wind had knocked off three of the four flowers. :-(
I need to go dig up a few of the purple ones to add to my garden. Are they easy to transplant?
That reminds me of how a friend describes Lubbock. She said everything would bloom and just be gorgeous, people would run out to enjoy it, because by the next day the wind would have carried all the flowers off. :-(
Maggie, it's been so windy here I wish I had a living wall 30' high to protect my plants. The leaves and flowers on my Brugmansias are getting shredded. The leaves wilt partway through the day. Rose petals fly past my kitchen window every few days.
Trois, thank you for the information on the Mexican Petunias. They are beginning to bloom so they should be easy to spot.
Josephine, I noticed the cow-pen daisy had seed heads. I think I go pick them to add to the back of my garden.
Konkreteblond, coreopsis seed easily. In fact, too easily sometimes.
We have that 30 foot wall and it has its down side. We are surrounded by dense tree and shrub thickets. It makes a great buffer from strong wind but increases the heat a bit. The plants love it though, if well watered. My son, 500 feet North of me, has cleared all nearby trees. He has the wind problem. It is somewhat cooler there. The other plus is the privacy screen.
Thanks for the privet info.
I found this little article and thougt it might be of interest to those of you who want to provide a good environment for wildlife.
HOW TO GARDEN FOR WILDLIFE.
#1 Grow native plants found in your area, including trees, shrubs and other plants that offer food such as pollen, nectar, acorns, nuts,cones, berries and other seeds.
#2 Provide water for wildlife with a birdbath, small pond or shallow dish, or a natural spring or stream on or near your habitat.
#3 Create protective cover for wildlife by growing a medow, a prairie, densely branched shrubs and evergreens. Place hollow logs and rock piles in your yard if possible.
#4 Provide places to raise young. Attach birdhouses to metal poles and monitor their use.
Grow host plants for caterpillars to eat, and provide dense plantings to create safe areas for nesting wildlife.
This is a lovely little flower Butterfly Pea, ( Centrosema virginianum ) found at the
Fort Worth Botanic gardens, such an adorable native to Texas.
I am sorry, after putting up this post, I realized that the Butterfly Pea has a different kind of leaf, so this is some other pea, I don,t know which. I will put it in the ID forum.
Well, It got identified really fast, It is Everlasting Pea, ( Lathyrus latifolia) I found it at the ladybird center, said native to the midwest.
I will give them a try, they look lacy and lovely, and may be they will turn out to be native.
We are having gests this Sunday for Father's day at about 2 o'clock.
Probably if you come later after it cools down it would be nice, however, you might be busy with your own Father's day celebration, let me know. Josephine.
Sunday late would be great just let me know what time is fine. I will being the pots. I dont know if you can see it but the lizards tail is in the pond - it already doubled once so it should be ready for you by fall.
My goodness, Mitch, you really have been busy!! Josephine will be keeping all of us busy for a good while, too!:-)
Josephine, I was amazed by the Everlasting Pea, It looks so much like a regular sweet pea. I grew some sweet peas this past winter/spring for the first time, and loved them! They were so fragrant! Do you recall if the Everlasting is fragrant? If it's native to the "midwest", does that include us?
I was out getting the mail yesterday when I spotted a Silver-Leafed Nightshade with these flowers. The entire plant had flowers with either 6 or 7 pointed flowers instead of the usual 5. I picked them. It was too hot to have to go back again with a camera. By the time I got back inside, they were slightly wilted.
#8 does not have any spine looking things yet, it is really short still though. Daves lists that under both herbs and trees - strange combo to me... I guess I need to move it - I put it out near the house if I am going to get spines like those I need to move it far far away - LOL
Magiemoo, I didn't get to smell the Everlasting Pea, it was too far behind a fence. I beleive the Midwest does not include Texas, so I guess we can only say it is a U.S. native, We can,t win them all, but that's o.k.
Mel, I forgot to mention how beautiful your Texas Sage is, I beleive I have never seen any blooming so heavily.
Mine just looks a pretty silver grey, but it will not bloom because of being in the shade. Oh Welll!
Mitch, as much as I love native plants, I am afraid that i don't have room for another tree, I wish I could have one of everything, but as we all know,except for Veronica, space is a concern. If you don't need it, set it free in the field and wish it a long happy life.
Here is a lovely native shrub or small tree, that is not being used as much as it deserves.
Mexican Buckeye, ( Ungnadia speciosa ) It is hardy, deciduous, and will tolerate some shade.
When it is in bloom it looks a lot like a Redbud, but that is the only similarity.
Hello Sugarfoot and Mel, this should be a good one for you, sice you love blue.
Here is a lovely row of Mealy Sage, ( Salvia farinacea ) This is a Texas native that is supposed to do great here, but I haven't had any luck with it. It is a perennial,
I took this picture at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens.
Not very long, usually the plant will start setting fruit on the socond year, although it won't be much. The fruit forms in the leaf axils so in theory there will be as many fruits as leaves. However, the what we call the fruit is actually the flower which is turned inside out, the fruit are the little seeds inside the fig. Interesting, isin't it?
John, I can pot up a cutting for you, and when you come for the swap, you can take it home.
Mel, it looks like your bunny does more than go around tasting plants, he fertilizes them too. He is so cute! If you don't mind, I wiil take 2 or three of the little plants when we have a chance to see each other.
Josephine, I thought this was really funny...I went to my brother's pool the other day and when his wife got home I was walking around with her while she watered plants. We got to one in the back that I remembered seeing a couple of years ago. It's just a big green stalk and at the time she had said she thought it was a sunflower and was going to just leave it. I asked if it was the same plant, and she said yes. I asked if it was a sunflower, and she said no, later it gets this really big, pretty white bloom on top of it. After a few seconds, I quickly grabbed the stalk and sure enough, it has a "square" trunk (with the little "lips" on the side of the stalk)!! I'm sure it's Frostweed!!! I can't believe all these years I've looked for it and she had it! LOL She was telling me how my brother does not like weeds or "weedy" looking things, he likes it manicured, so I am sure if it was reseeding they are mowing them down or pulling them up. I can't wait until it blooms this year to go see it. Small world...
here it is! Parthenium hysterophorus L. Santa Maria feverfew a little confusing seeing that some sites listed Native and we introdused it to Europe and Asia and others claim this was brought into the US. Figured it out - Annual from Northern Mexico and Very South Texas... this is from a Mexican site I found at long last... is this right? not fo sure but a vey nice looking plant... it does have some trad. uses to help cure this and that... I have not found the pollen to be a issue last year, but these are in the middle of the bed so they might not be brushing against me...
Veronica, Yes I will save some seed for you. The flowers open before the leaves, and the seeds mature in the fall, it is very pretty.
Mitch I am so glad your plant turned out( not to be ) Ragweed. I was getting attached to the idea of having one, it looks so pretty. So you think it is Feverfew, great , I hope it transplants well, if not, the seed will do.
Well Mitch, it looks like both you and Hazel were right, there seems to be conflicting information about this plant coming from different sources.
I still want to plant it, because it looks so pretty, but I will keep a close eye on it.
I am sensitive to some types of pollen so we shall see what happens when it blooms. Josephine.
You know they both say annual - so if you dont like it just dead head and no more! LOL But I love it no water and blooms all summer in the dead heat... and now the name... just have to love a Santa Maria! To perfect for our little prayer garden!
Wow Mitch, do you really have a prayer garden? That is so sweet, come to think of it, gardens are excellent places for prayer, in fact , gardening is basically a prayer, for helping God's beatiful creation to grow and bloom, teaches you about the mysteries of many things that otherwise would go unnoticed and brings you closer to God. Pray on, my freind.
We do - well a start of one... in the back part of the garden. Trying to grow bushes and small trees back there right now before I start on the flowers... we want a quite little place to get away with lots of shade so you could be out there any time of day! We have a Maria Hosta out there under a umbrella and the frostweeds are all over there on the edge where we are leaving sun..
I managed to restrain myself from buying too many plants at the Rainbow Gardens nursery on Saturday. I did buy 2 fig trees: Celeste, the hardiest of the Texas varieties. It doesn't have a Breba crop, but makes up for it by it excellent dessert quality, and Alma, a late season variety with excellent rich flavor.
Josephine, thanks for saving the seed for me.
I was so excited when I discovered this American Elm. It is one of three that I've found on the ranch so far. It's in the creekbed.
We have been delighted to find at least 50, probably more, American Elms on our place.
I am posting a couple of nasty plant pictures, Rattan Vine, that for sure you don't want. One of these the size of your finger can stop a tractor. They kill some trees, and smother others with dense leaves.
Winding around a tree.
It is meaner than it looks. They tie the entire canopy together. Last fall I cut a fair sized tree, and as the last cut was made, the tree was yanked violently up. It is still up. Our version of a strangler fig.
What is the scientific name for Rataan. I couldn't find anything googling for 'rataan' The strangler fig, Ficus aruea, does the same thing. You're right, I wouldn't want another smothering vine. We have hundreds of mustang grapevines. They not be as strong as Rataan, but can smother a tree just the same. The Pepper Vine looks like a trumpet vine. What do the flowers look like? Is it a native? and lastly, may I have some seed? Accoring to the Plant Files, Pepper Vine is well behaved.
I can dig one up and save it for you. My daughter lives in Austin and will be here for the 4th. She could probably drop it off on the way back. I will save seeds this year. The flowers are not much but the berries are great, and you can make pepper from them.
Thank you Dstarz, that garden sounds wonderful, it seems that other states are waking up and following after Texas and Ladybird Johnson.
I hope the trend continues in all 50 states, we know that there is a very strong movement in that direction. Josephine.
I am sorry Guys, I know that this is not a native plant, but I am so proud of it , that I just had to show it. It is my Elephant Garlic. I was given one bulb 30 years ago by my friend Mrs. Bickley. I have nurtured and increased the crop and shared with all my friends. This year the crop was especially abundant, so here it is.
The garlic patch in the Spring.
all right I need a little help, I am wanting to add a native that will be a ground cover and go with the frog fruit but a little shorter, I called a few places but they had no ideas that were native... do you guys have any? 6-8 inches tall, spreads, a flower would be nice and you could plant a few things in between them ??? I know tall order
makes me dream about how peppers and mators would do in that soil of yours... my poor things have still yet to really put out this year - but I have several Watermelons that have 12 or so each so if the wild things out here dont get them - ahhh
Wow that is an amazing garlic patch...Last winter I planted some cloves and they were growing so nicely and when we started building the new house...guess where the water lines had to be placed...Hope to have some nice garlic this next year though...
LOL - hey I needed a ground cover that could take the heat untill everything else got set - I planted watermelon, melons, and pumkins in all the beds so far so good the yellow blooms keep the beds always in bloom to... maybe I should add a few gourds to keep it native..
Trois I am sure you already know this, melons and squash have separate male and female flowers.
The male flowers have just a little stem behind them, and the female ones, have an ovary, which is seen behind the flower as a little swollen area, that is actually the start of the fruit.
If the two kinds of flowers don't open on the same day, the fertilization can not take place, so no fruit. But there is another factor, even if the two types of flowers are present, we still need a bee or some other insect to take the pollen from the male to the female.
This is where you can help, sometimes insects are not around when the flowers are open, and that's where you come in the morning with a Q-tip, and put the pollen where it needs to go, from the male flower to the center of the female flower.
I have done that with squash and melons and it works, you might want to try it.
with my sweet clover I tend to always have bees...
Alright here is a q - what is the best way to kill out Bermuda - it is choking out a few of the natives even... ahh I have pulled and pulled - I even dug like they said but 10 more come were one was... any ideas here?
There are lots of bees working all the time. I would have to fight them off.
Here, to get rid of Bermuda, sprig in some St Augustine, keep it well watered and cut high. In about 3 months no more bermuda.
I may have to do that - yikes.. oh well at least it will get it all out of here... cannot stand the suff. I have a guy near me with tons of St Aug growing of the sides of his yard he would be more then happy to give me a few little cuttings...what would I need a couple hundred? LOL
I think Mitch is wanting the bermuda out of the flower beds, am i right?
First remove as much of it as possible without damaging your plants. I have found that if you soak the area very well, you will be able to pull a lot more of the roots.
Then the only thing that it can't take is lack of sunshine, so mulch heavily around the plants, and when some shows up pull it again. It will be weekened, and as your plants grow, they will make shade and keep it from growing.
I think that is the best you can do onan existing flower bed.
Out of the beds, out of the yard (well the 50 sq feet I have left of grass!) out of everything.. .. it is choking out the whole thing... the pond is the only part of the yard that does not have the grass everywhere... it is my summer mission to get all of the stuff gone!
Bermuda Grass is the most insidious and obnoxious weed on earth! Can you tell how I feel about it? Last year, I wrote to TAMU to ask about getting rid of Bermuda. I was wished good luck and told it's almost impossible to get rid of because it's so deep rooted — 6 feet. I was given suggestions to try to control it. Solarizing during summer for 6 weeks will temporarily kill the top layer of Bermuda. Repeated use of something like Round-Up may eventually kill it, but any Bermuda seed lying around could germinate recontaminating the area. It can also travel long distances underground from another area.
I sprayed an area in my garden with Round-Up before planting a tree there. I placed landscape cloth and 4" of mulch around the tree. You should see the lush growth of Bermuda growing there.
Ornamec can be used in ornamental beds to control Bermuda. The Wildflower Farm in Fredricksburg sells Ornamec 70 (Premixed with surfactant). Overplanting with St. Augustine doesn't kill Bermuda, it only sends it into dormancy. If the St. Augustine is stressed in any way, the Bermuda will come back. Sigh :-(
Watermelon, squash and pumpkins produce male flowers first. That's why the first few flowers don't produce any fruit. Since your plants have bloomed for over a month without producing fruit, you must have planted seedless watermelon seeds. If you have seedless watermelon (Triploid), the plants are sterile. Triploid watermelons are hybrids of diploid and tetraploid seeded watermelons. When you plant seedless watermelon, you need to plant some pollinizers as well.
I have a raised bed 2 ft off the ground, dug out two foot down, replaced soil to level, added a thick layer of newspaper and then bought dirt to go on top - it crawled through it all is now coming out the top!
We seeded Bermuda when we built our home 8 years ago. Sod was too expensive for a 1/2 acre... but it never really filled in like we would like. About 5 years ago, we picked up some squares of St.Augustine to sprig into the bare spots in the front yard. ( A neightbor said "you'll curse the day that you did that..." haha. It is filling in nicely, and we LOVE it! Last 2 years, we bought more and have slowly sprigged it in. We hope that it will have covered the entire property within the next 2-3 years.
We started noticing that the areas that were solid St. A. had little to no weeds growing, unlike the sparse Bermuda. NOT to mention... the little whirly bird seeds that show up 3 days after you mow Bermuda... UGH. We LOVE the fact that the ST. A is covering, and wish that we had planted it from the start!
I have a small patch of St Aug in ft. the back is all Bermuda and that is all they really had back there - St Aug now that I can live with if I have to have a little grass - never even thought about it.. I know the St Aug is creeping into the field and the field grass does not grow in the areas it takes over - I should have put two and two ...
Mitch, have you considered buffalo grass? It's a native and there are several types. Wildseed Farms carries seeds for several types, including one that gets more dense (like turf) stays greener, and also stays shorter. I know that John (imway2dumb) was looking into buffalo grasses, and I took a picture of some for him when I was at Wildseed in April, but I never got around to posting the picture. I'll try to do that tomorrow. I'd love to grow it myself, but it doesn't do well in this area.
Personally, I like my Bermuda. Yeah, yeah..someday I won't think that, but right now it's all I've ever known. It came with the house. I have always liked it better than St. A because it's so soft and finer blades. It looks really nice when it's freshly mowed. :) It does run into my beds, but I just try to cut it or pull it out.
To enlarge our beds, we rented a sod cutter rather than trying to just plant over it. Then I put down several layers of newspaper and then added the new dirt. I have some come up occassionally, but it's worked pretty good.
The new neighbor behind us planted a veggie garden. I heard them tilling for a few days. I've always heard to never till Bermuda because you are just burying it deeper and it will come right back up. ? I guess they'll see next year.
I have used Ortho Grass B Gone to kill bermuda grass in my flowerbeds. It works great if you spray the grass in the heat of a sunny day. Fertilome's "Over-the-Top" woks well too and it can be purchased in a concentrated form which saves money in the long run. It will kill the grass and not harm most ornamentals. Be sure to read the brochure that accompanies it so that you are aware of what else it will kill.
If the bermuda is running up close to ornamentals and you are afraid that the grass killer will harm the ornamentals, snip most of the runner off leaving about a 3 inch piece. Or cut the top and bottom from a 3 liter Coke bottle, place the Coke bottle over the burmuda grass and put the end of the spray bottle into the Coke bottle to spray the grass using the steady stream mode. If it is really close to plant, you can cut the bottom from a small baggie, place the bermuda grass inside the baggie, dip a small brush unto the solution and brush the grass. Leave the baggie around the grass so that it doesn't touch the other plant. When the bermuda is close to another plant, I also let it grow until it has a runner long enough that I can coat it on a portion away from the other plant.
When making my flowerbeds, I dug up the grass, spread black plastic sheeting (solid plastic, not that weed screening stuff) and piled a thin layer of mulch on top of it to hold it down. In a few weeks, the grass was dead. I did it in the heat of the summer so the grass would bake well. BTW, undiluted vinegar will kill grass between bricks and sidewalk cracks.
Be aware that St. Augustine requires much more water than bermuda grass. Bermuda graas goes dormant when not receiving enough water, but will come back due to its deep root system. St. Augustine, on the otherhand, will die because its root system is shallow and its stems are close to the surface. I try to mow the grass which is mostly St. Augustine mixed with a litle bermuda grass in some areas before the bermuda goes to seed which helps keep it out of my flowerbeds.
Now if I could kill the nutgrass (sedge) that will ruin any flowerbed, I would think I had died and gone to heaven. Bermuda grass in the flowerbeds doesn't even phase me after fighting nutgrass for about 18 years.
Amen to the nutgrass! We have a battle with it too, but not as bad as alot of our neighbors. I saw my husband resorting to Roundup this weekend. He only uses it when absolutely necessary, and that is one! You can't pull the stuff up, cause the roots snap off!
We weighed the pros and cons of bermuda and SA, after having a manicured Tiff Bermuda lawn when in the city, then standard bermuda here, the weeds were not getting under control after 5 years, but the SA has been the only thing that has worked. We do not pour the water to it, as we water once every 7 -10 days if no rain. We water deep, so that the roots will run deeper for their nutrients. Works for us!
And getting bermuda out of the flower beds! UGH. Anyone with a solution, come on by... have you seen bermuda growing into monkey grass? Double NO! Hate it! Cannot get the stuff out, and steel edging? Bermuda just runs underneath it! Our problem is that we have a 1/2 acre and we could not keep up with it when it started and now it's out of control!
Been wondering if there are any good nurseries you way. The ones in Granbury are getting boring. Found one I really like in Stehpenville but that's a hike. I have on my list in the metroplex but I think Crowley/Burleson area might be closer that many of them.
Hazel, have you tried Image on nut sedge? Image is what A & M recommends. I just bought some and was trying to figure out how to apply it withour killing other things. I'm going to try your Coke method on it
Sugar... there are no nurseries in crowley, and as far as burleson, besides HD, Lowes and WM, there are a few, but nothing to rave about. WE go to Weston Gardens, near everman/forest hill off I-20. They are the BEST. If you want annuals and a few perennials, there is a wholesale place that sells to public, but harder to find, called Stegalls not too far from westons.
After much thought, and at the risk of having you guys mad at me, I must say that I just don't understand why you would want to put a chemical next to the plants that you have worked so hard for, and run the risk of killing them, to accomplish the same thing as just pulling the unwanted plant.
Don't forget the chemical works itself down to the roots, and can spread laterally.
Please don't be mad at me for saying this, I am speaking out of concern, I have had some plants damaged from my neighbor putting weed killer on his lawn, and it spreading to my slope.
Josephine, I was wondering the same thing. I have heard many say in different forums that when they used Roundup for something, even being very careful, it ended up killing nearby plants. One person lost a number of rose bushes that were further away, but a rainpour apparently washed it down to the other bed!
I'm not trying to start a controversy, just giving some input. :-)
Our neighbor (downstream from us) recently put roundup on a single tree and killed a whole grove, about 30 trees, including a couple of large and treasured Oaks about 150 feet away. They blamed it on something else, but they all died at the same time.
Thank you Maggiemoo, it certainly was not my intention to critisize anyone, but to sound a warning. Of course, everyone is entitled to use whatever methods they see fit, and I hope that what I said will not keep people from expressing their opinions.
Please forgive me, if I offended anyone, that was not my intention.
Roundup is only effective if it comes in contact with the green growing parts of plants. It does not move through the soil. That being said, it was derived from Agent Orange! Do not apply on a windy day. (I never spray, only paint!) DO NOT get any of it on you! Used 'intelligently' it is a good last resort product.
We don't have a problem at all with weeds in our Bermuda. We have some, but not near what most of our neighbors have. The place where we get the most is where the sidewalk and the grass edge have a small gap, then they all blow in there, but they are easy to pull out. We have tried and tried to use organic fertilizers, but our yard was just so void of anything, being so new, that we HAD to use Scott's (not with weed killer). Our soil test said we had no nitrogen and the organic stuff was taking way too long to build up. But we only use it twice a year, and in between we put down dry molasses a few times and a few other goodies. I think maybe those have helped us have fewer weeds and fire ants. I don't use any chemicals to kill weeds or grass. The closest I've come is using the vinegar but only in a place where I was putting the swimming pool. Otherwise, I'm like you Frostweed, I don't expect it to be perfect so I just pull it and cut it and try not to get myself aggrevated over it. I leave the aggrevation to the plants with bugs!!
I think you nailed it with that last statement, John.
We don't worry nearly as much as some folks do because to remove all weeds, you also remove almost all native wild flowers. We are increasing out wildflower population fairly rapidly, but this dry weather is slowing the process.
We own one bottle of roundup. We've had the bottle for 8 years. As I said before, there are few instances that warrant "crossing the line" as Howard Garrett would say (organic Dirt Doctor) He has also stated that there are few instances that need agressive measures.
I fully understand that most people are careless in their actions regarding chemicals. We went organic about 8 years ago when we built our home. This was after learning the organic ways, and believing that our prior chemical ways led to one of our family members cancer diagnosis. THIS will wake you up!
The average consumer looking on shelves and watching commercials learns nothing about how dangerous these chemicals are, and no one tells them otherwise. I saw first hand while on vacation driving in west texas thru the panhandle, when you look at the test fields and crops for the major universities... all of the BIG company names of chemicals being tested. THEIR money is paying our colleges to do the testing and make the recommendations to the public. MONEY MONEY MONEY is driving the results. Now I understand how the dollar works.
It does take alot of independant research on the consumers part just to protect ourselves and our children. I (we) feel very passionately about the use of organics and the role that they play in everyones lives. We do not use chemicals carelessly, and our environmental concerns do not stop at just what we use in our lawn and garden. There are food, health, beauty, conservation and recycling issues too... We try our best to save this earth. It's the only one we have.
Josephine, this product has only killed bermuda grass in my yard and usually in my flowerbeds I can pull or dig it out. In between sidewalk cracks and the space between the sidewalk and the curb it is a little difficult for me to dig up cement and asphalt to get to the bermuda roots. In some situations, I can not dig into the ground to get the roots up due to the roots of the other plants being damaged. I have had the same bottle of Grass B Gone for 3 years and still have some left in it. It's not as though I am drenching the soil with the stuff, doing my whole yard or spraying it up in the air so it can travel around and damage any of my or my neighbors plants. I have had my plants damaged from my neighbor spraying weed killer too. He sprayed Image which drifted to my plants. I am a very responsible person and very ecologically minded. I don't post here often and I know a whole lot about native plants because this seems to be your forum, but I just feel I need to respond.
Maybe you don't have nutgrass like I and others have nutgrass.My husband said to tell you that I was digging and pulling up nutgrass and my neighbor's house's foundation moved 2 feet. It fills in 2 of my flowerbeds comlpletely. I can't plant very much in the ground in them because I am constantly having to dig down 18 inches or more to try to locate the "nuts" and I would damage the roots of most of the plants if they were in the ground. Most of the plants in these areas are in containers. The nutgrass eventually fills the containers as well. I wished I had taken a photo of the last flowerbed that I "trolled" for nutgrass. All you would see is nutgrass. These beds are now covered in cypress bark mulch again. I had removed the mulch so the larkspur and other wildflowers could come up. It lines the cracks between my sidewalks and the space where the asphalt from the street meets the cement of the curb, it is in my hanging baskets, sprouting where the house meets the sidewalk in my entryway and in the crack where the driveway meets the garage. I take a long knife and try to dig up the nuts from the cracks, but this is almost useless and I have damaged the cement. Most of my neighbors have given up trying to have flowerbeds. Some have even removed their flowerbeds because of the nutgrass. I feel very sorry for several who are trying to grow lots of roses with the nutgrass taking over.
TXMel, I have to water portions of my SA grass every 3 or 4 days because there is not much dirt in areas of my yard ... solid limestone below the dirt and the water runs off fast because I am on a slope. I have added soil where I can. The soil sinks down into the limestone and has to be replenished. Oh, to have dip soil like I had at my previous residence. The SA does keep out weeds (except for nutgrass). Roundup will only temporarily deaden the tops of the nutgrass. I am sorry you and your neighbors have nutgrass too.
75154, I know the feeling so well. I dig and dig the nutgrass out for days and days and the here come the shoots back up where I had broken of the stems, but not gotten the nuts up. I am sorry you have this problem too.
Sugarfoot , the only way I am able to grow anything in the ground in 2 flowerbeds is to dig up and sift through the dirt and remove as many nuts as I can. Then, I place 4 to 5 inches of cypress mulch over the dirt. In some areas, I have placed old rubber car floormats that I have asked people for over the dirt first. The nutgrass will not grow through thick rubber as it does through weedscreens and just about anything else. (My niece paid some guys to put in a pond for her. They assured her that nothing would grow through the container. Guess what, nutgrass punctured the plastic and has now taken over her whole pond). Periodically, I have to remove the mulch and redig the dirt trolling for the nuts. After years of doing this, the nutgrass nuts start working their way up from deep down and are easier to pull. The seeds sprout in the mulch so if you can pull them up easily if you do it as soon as you see them. If the mulch is removed (as I do in the spring when I grow wildflowers), the nuts that have been lurking under the mulch sprout very quickly and start taking over again. It is a never ending battle and so discouraging because you can't plant what you want to plant. In order to get the nuts out, you destroy the roots of any plants that do not have sturdy roots. Be sure to get any flowerheads before they go to seed. The seeds can travel a great distance. After having a serious operation last year, I was unable to do this so nutgrass is coming up in other areas of my yard now. I have been able to dig these scattered ones up as soon as I see them. I am sorry you have nutgrass too.
bettydee, I bought Image 4 years ago to try to get rid of the nutgrass, but would not use it after reading the warnings on the label about its effects on other plants. My neighbor has painted on the nutgrass blades with a small brush. It took him days and days. I know because I was outside trolling for the nuts in the dirt whle he was doing it. I think he had to reapply it, however. I am sorry you have nutgrass too.
Maybe I should just not have any flowerbeds at all and let the bermuda grass and nutgrass take over. Go aunatural and say to heck with it and nit grow any of God's beautiful gifts because I must be damaging the environment and giving people cancer. It ssure would be a lot less work. I'm going out now to get rid of some bburmuda frass and nutgrass.
Well geez, I probably shouldn't say anything, but think I want to "defend" Josephine. I don't think she was attacking anyone or calling anyone careless, she was just questioning the use of the products. I kind of had the same thought as I quickly read thru the post about the chemicals. Explaining the horror of your situation gives insight as to why you might use a chemical as a last resort. There's no need for you to get offended and upset. Now we all know, and definitely feel for you! :( I don't think I even know what nutgrass is, but I'll sure be on the lookout for it.
Now Mel, I know you personally and know you are very responsible, but I'm going to report you to Howard! ;) LOLOL! (oops, I can't, because you'll report that I'm using Scotts!)
Josephine, I was wondering, with all that garlic growing, do you have bugs? Everything I have been reading about companion planting to get rid of bugs recommends garlic. I don't have any and have had my share of bugs this year. Does the garlic growing actually make your garden smell, or is there just an odor underground?
And, is that your phlox blooming in the background?! It's beautiful! I wish mine would get busy and grow!
Htop, I am very sorry to have offended you, I did not realize you had such a terrible problem, bless your heart. If I had such a terrible problem I might resort to extreme measures myself.
I know that you are a very caring and generous person, I know it from the things you write about, and the things you say, and I admire you. I would be very unhappy if you stopped contributing to our group, we need and appreciate your input, and I hope you will continue to be a part of this fun group.
Trois, your petunias are indeed looking good, thank you for posting.
Paige, yes it is a lot of garlic, and I still have some bugs, but not a lot of them.
The Phlox is really neat right now, the whole yard is scented by it, I will post some pictures. I f you guys need or want more of it, I am hoping to root a lot of cuttings this fall, so let me know.
Mitch, I usually post my pictures on the plant files as well as here, however, they usually don't make a distinction on whether they are Texas natives or not.
I don't know if there could be a thread or files, for just native plants, that might be interesting, will look into it.
Well the grass is coming back out - no matter how deep I go it goes deeper... I have found a couple of arrowheads though and a few bricks so I guess they make up for it! So now I got to find a way to display the arrowheads in the garden without them getting pulled back under the dirt...
Josephine - I have checked out your photos, you have added a few plants to. Some people like me dont always post them and it was more for those of us who dont get them on here like we should. The lizards tail is budding so cross your fingers for a bloom soon...
I was not offended by Josephine. She has seen my garden and can understand where I am coming from. Although, I DO have neighbors that do and have applied chemicals with reckless abandon. ON A WINDY DAY. It's those Yahoo's that I want to strangle.
I am simply stating my reasons why sometimes you have to do what you have to, with very careful application, to protect the other special plants in your garden.
Nutgrass should be eliminated. I hate the stuff, and would take careful steps to try and eliminate it, too! I don't wish the stuff on anyone. Digging it, spraying it, torching it, whatever it takes. ((((((CAREFULLY)))))))
We spend our valuable time and energy to grow what we do, and I think that the ones that post here, are eagerly concerned with protecting what we've been entrusted to!
So any "lurkers" looking for shortcuts to that perfect yard... if you CARE about the environment. Slow down, read, study and work HARD... Nothing good comes easy. (I have teens, I've quoted that a few times...)