Early Spring here & I don't know what to do, please advise!

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

I think I shall leave the dancing for people more graceful and talented in that department than I am, such as Dahlianut. Dancing definitely is not my thing.

So how did I get a grandson who at the age of three insisted on ballet lessons? Then he was outraged his mother only signed him up for one class a week and soon had her up to two. And still continues, along with tap now also.

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Angele,
My husband is still recovering from his face plant in a rock on the river this fall. That is a seed you do not wish to sow...

Ouch!

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Hope the recovery is still going well Mulch. That is so cool about your grandson. Determination is a good sign that he's in for the long haul. I shall just always be a will-o-whisp dancer which is probably a good thing. There should be a 'Face Plant' though shouldn't there, angele.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

It's sad. No "face plant" I googled it, thinking there must be one, but no. We should name something, I think.

I think it's wonderful too about the 3 yr old ballet dancer kid guy. Made me smile, it did.

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

When he was five he started dancing in the yearly performance of the Nutcracker on Whidbey Island. He was indignant he could not be the Nutcracker himself, but his mother persuaded him it was ok to start with smaller roles. That definitely made me smile!

There is Bat-face Cuphea, I had that in my garden for the first time last year & I hope it comes back. Plantfiles has Pig's Face, Freckle Face, About Face, Orange Pig's Face, Face-to-Face. I hope your husband heals completely and soon Mulchmania.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I think that definitely we need to find a worthy plant to call 'Face Plant'.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

We could have a contest.

The losers would be "Losing Face Plant."

;-)

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

good one kyla snort

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Here's a Face Plant -- not in Plant Files, though.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

meant to be a picture with that one???

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Maybe she fell into a snowbank?

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Must be a member of the invisible genus.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Maybe she did a posting face plant.

Reno, NV

It was a demonstrative post. We just blinked at the wrong time.

While we wait, just in case it wasn't demonstrative, I've got another question...

Something ,predators most likely, seems to have greatly reduced our wild rabbit population around here so I've bought a few bulbs and tubers for spring planting. Should I wait till after last freeze date or can they go in sooner than that?
Dahlias - 'Heat Wave' (yellow with red, not the all red I have also seen called Heat Wave)
Lilium - 'Commander in Chief'
Liatris spicata

Santa Fe, NM

Lost face. Ha, ha, Kyla. Veils it is, Dahlia! You described the concept very well. A hint of mauve, perhaps. Mulch, that is great about your grandson. Hope your D.H. continues to recover. And Paja, too, apparently.

Santa Fe, NM

Hi, Angele. Can you plant dahlias already down there? I may be living in the wrong zone.

Roybird, I don't know when to plant them. I've never tried bulbs, roots or tubers before. That is what I'm asking, lol!

Santa Fe, NM

Sorry. I don't really know about your area except it is warmer than here. And very pretty, too. You can learn a lot by watching your neighbor's gardens. But that does slow you down and you sound ready to plant! I've heard that daffodils are not delicious for rabbits. I usually plant bulbs in the fall, so I'm not a good one to give advice. Dparsons is in a warmer zone. Help!

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Spring bulb planting. I'm not an expert but the online wisdom comes as 2 parts:

1) Plant the bulbs in the fall 6 weeks before your soil freezes

2) The way to plant them in the Spring is to have them started in pots and put them in when the earliest bulb plants (Crocus) start to flower.
See http://www.flower-gardening-made-easy.com/plant-bulbs-in-spring.html

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

The ideas seem to be that:
they need to be established to flower in the Spring
the roots can't establish when the ground is frozen

Starting them in pots in a warm spot (inside, greenhouse) gives the root growth you would get doing a fall planting outside.

The bottom line is start them in pots a couple weeks ago.

Ooh, good info, thanks! (anybody got a timemachine, lol) I'll get the bulbs in pots today.
Now for the tubers, if you dig them up in fall when do they go back in the ground?

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Oops. Went to bed! Not in a snowbank thank goodness. Here is the pic:
http://davesgarden.com/files/Shoeflower/showimage.html

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Actually Angele, dahlias can't take freezing, so you have to wait until the last chance of frost has past -- you can find that out from your county extension agent and perhaps on line, but I am not sure where. Here May 15 is our average last freeze date. As for the other bulbs and roots, you can plant the ones that can take freezing as soon as the soil can be dug -- onions are the example that comes to mind but there are others. Garlic on the other hand is usually planted in the fall. Shallots can be planted either time.
By the way, dahlia tubers must be dug up and brought in for the winter in this climate. Probably in yours as well. Gladiolus are in the same department. There are a few perennial gladiolus but mostly you plant them in the spring and take them up again in the fall for winter storage.
Bulbs that you get potted and blooming at the grocery store can go in the ground as soon as you have hardened them off -- for a week or so. Liatris can go out in the spring and stay out permanently. If you go to the nursery in about March you will find all the bulbs that should be planted in the spring -- lily of the valley -- which doesn't grow worth a darn for me -- it likes wet acid soil -- we have dry alkaline soil, probably you do, too.
Begonias can go in in the spring, but they are tender and must go in after frost and be taken up before frost in the fall.
In the spring in nurseries you see a lot of lilies,begonias, horseradish, onions, garlic ( don't know why -- wrong time of the year) and rhubarb. Also glads and ornamental alliums. Most ornamental alliums can stay in the ground all winter. Asiatic lilies grow very well for us in the north and may grow well for you in the south. Oriental lilies don't do so well here -- bloom a year or two if you are lucky then die.
There is autumn crocus which you can plant in the spring and which will bloom in the fall and a fall crocus.
Unfortunately most bulbs that can take freezing in winter, are planted in the fall. Not all though. Your local nursery should know. Here is a great supplier of bulbs but they don't necessarily tell you the details of how to take care of them. But they do have maps showing where they can be grown.
http://davesgarden.com/files/Shoeflower/showimage.html
http://davesgarden.com/files/Shoeflower/showimage.html

Santa Fe, NM

Yes! Articulate and informative! That's quite a face plant. Not sure I'd want a whole bunch of those.

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

I think my goldfinches might be disappointed if I grew those face plants instead of the usual sunflowers.

Thanks so much pajarito! I'm cutting and pasting to save.
I went to a box store the other day looking for seed starting supplies and they had bags of these bulbs and tubers, I just couldn't resist them because of not seeing so many rabbits. Our average last frost is the middle of March so I will probably wait till maybe April to plant. Tonight is supposed to get down to 26.

There really aren't very many gardeners around here to learn from. Elephant Butte has mostly part time residents. Most yards are pretty much in their native states with a few purchased yuccas and cactus here & there.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Yes, I remember that about Elephant Butte. Your yard will bring a little needed color to the area. The big box stores have a lot right now. Things like caladiums and cannas can grow here in warm weather but won't survive the winters -- at least in our area. But we do see them in summer gardens.

Here is a picture of a few of the flowers in the walled in part of my backyard. Got to provide color & something for bees and butterflies! About 50% of my plants are in this walled in part of my yard and the rest are outside surviving (or not) with all the critters.
Until last year I mostly grew only the easiest of plants. I really appreciate the advice you all have shared on these new plants. I hate to lose any plant but the ones that cost more$ inspire more worry.

Thumbnail by angele
Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Angele,
Lovely!!!

Thanks! I should have said that photo was from August!!!

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

You have found lots of good plants for your area. Do you have tritoma ( red hot poker)? I bet it would go great in your area and I have never seen anything but an ax that would stop it. It is great for dry climates but appreciates any water you give it. It is very attractive to hummingbirds and easy to start from seed. Or for a head start you can buy the plant. I would think you would find a good nursery in Las Cruces -- or at the worst in El Paso.

Santa Fe, NM

Angele, I met you in the wild plants forum, right? You have beautiful native plants in your area. You could go pretty much xeric and have a lovely garden. Nice picture!

I bought two poker plants about 3 years ago - put them in a stuccoed bed in the front yard (north) and they never did anything. Last year they got moved to another part of the yard where they got full westernly sun and they took off. They didn't bloom but the foliage must have tripled in size. I'm hoping to get some flowers this year.

The vast majority of the plants I put in are drought and sun tolerant. Sunflowers, Mexican sunflowers, sages, cacti, ocotillo yucca, gallardia, zinnia - stuff like that. I did order a Heuchera that should be arriving in April, I'm hoping it will do ok on the front porch. From what I've read I don't think they are really suited for here.

Roybird, I think it is going to take me a long time to convert my yard to the % of native plants I would like. I do have a few native flowers but have mostly put in native shrubs and trees. We did get rid of the lawn that was here when we bought the house. I don't want to 'rock' the yard but am having a hard time finding something to use.

Santa Fe, NM

I like rocks but moving them and planting them is hard work. I've seen pecan shell mulch used quite a bit. I'm not crazy about the way it looks but many people like it. Those red hot pokers are taking over my daylilies in the west facing yard. I suppose I'll have to dig them up again. I had to use a shovel, a chopping block and an ax last time. I do admire their tenacity. Sort of. sigh.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Easy is good. It frequently means you are successfully achieving one of the more common goals of plant selection - pick things that will readily grow in your spot.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

What about some California poppies and some blue flax? They love it here and get by on very little water. They are two of my favorites. The xeric part of my yard is rocks. My plants are less so. But I put rocks around them and mulch them to save water. I also use drip irrigation which saves water.
You will soon learn that I am an iris nut, but I will tell you that iris require little water or anything else and have magnificent blooms. You do have to divide them about every 3 years. Arilbred iris are really beautiful and are supposed to be good for xeric gardening. You would have to buy them mail order or get to know some of the iris growers in your area. Sharon MacAlister is a famous arilbred breeder and she lives in Las Cruces area. She would be interesting to meet, but I understand she is somewhat reclusive. Still worth a try. I have her email address if you want it. You could introduce yourself -- I don't know her. They are from the mediterranean area and grow under approximately the same conditions as regular iris ( bearded).
See arilbred pictures at:
http://www.arilsociety.org/index.pl?Gallery+0
All thos little thumbnails become large pictures when you click on them.
Your tritoma will probably bloom this year if it has grown a lot. It is very hard to remove once it gets going, but a very nice plant.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

To buy arilbreds, mailorder is generally your best bet unless you join the local iris society (Las Cruces or perhaps Roswell). Lots of those people grow them and would probably be willing to trade if not outright donate to you.
If I have any extras this year I will definitely share, but I only had my first one bloom last year. But I hear you have to divide them every year or every two years. I hope I hope.

There are several good places to buy them, but not so many advertise very well. One is Malevile Gardens at -- there are several pages of them at:
http://www.malevil-iris.com/arilbred-1.htm
or at Superstition Gardens at:
http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/album/119353760DQWzqw?start=36
I can tell you how to order from Superstition if you get interested. You have to request their catalog to get the prices which are cheap.

Here is my first, and so far only arilbred bloom:

Thumbnail by pajaritomt

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