Best Gardening Tips!
I was recently listening to "Gardeners Question Time" a popular radio show here in the UK, and was amazed at the number of listeners phoning in with their useful gardening tips. I though it would be nice to start a thread here so we can all share our best ideas.
My top tip:
Although hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium) with it's beautiful trumpet shaped flowers is a lovely sight, it can be a nuisance in the garden if you're trying to grow herbs or vegetables. To easily remove it, I place a tall bamboo rod close by where it grows. The bindweed will naturally gravitate towards the rod and wind itself around it. This makes it super easy to draw it to one spot and then pull up the root.
Do any other forum members have any top gardening tips to share?
Mine is not necessarily a garden tip but it is VERY helpful to the unaware.
I'm a sucker for morning glories, the flower. I personally think they are gorgeous on a trellis or vineing on a fence etc..
What I didn't know though was how they spread. A morning glory plant spreads unusual from most other vines. Pulling the root out of the ground is impossible because it travels everywhere underground (like its own railroad track system down there). And since you can't get the entire root system out, what do us normal people do? Obviously we just take a shovel and dig up the plant and a bunch of the roots come out with it
BIG mistake! Because everywhere one of those roots you have broken you now have two new plants starting underground. So instead of one plant you dug out, you now have two plants which will be coming up.
AND, when you were digging if you put your shovel into the ground several times to dig up your morning glory, every single time you cut any of the root underground you just started two more plants. Therefore cut a morning glory root anywhere and you've just started more plants.
So now instead of one plant, later that season you will find small morning glory plants everywhere.
I have spent years now just trying to get rid of my morning glory because it just does not work where it is for my garden
The moral here, go ahead and plant one (only one) wherever you like it as long as it is not anywhere near anything else which will get strangled to death as your morning glory multiplies. And since morning glories do need a lot of space and something to grow upon, make sure you give it some room to grow right up front because once established, it is gorgeous but it also can become a pain in the Bu..!5 · Share on Twitter
The moral is: Unless you know ALL about it, never plant anything in the ground, as you have then NO way to Control... Always start any untested plant in a Secured container, or a Straw-bale. - I found this out the hard way 3 years ago with Yarrow... as there's increasingly less room left for anything else on our 4000+ sq.ft., last year it started showing up at 4 neighbors... yards. You know the kind that have hated our dandelions for 17+ years. oh brother!3 · Share on Twitter
This is definitely the best way to learn! A friend of mine with an allotment grew mint (not in containers) and it spread through the whole area. Needless to say, the other allotment owners were not too thrilled, but she did mention that her potatoes had a nice minty flavour when she cooked them :)4 · Share on Twitter
I have a lot of plants that are considered invasive if not controlled. Whenever I dig them up to divide them and have some for give-aways, I always give the caveat that people are not to hate me afterwards for giving them something that may turn into a triffid.
But as for tips, one year I planted lettuce in the very late fall. It sprouted in the spring when it was ready and was one of the earliest and best harvest of lettuce ever. I just haven't been able to get at it again with all the other fall chores but it is on my list of things to try to fit in. :)3 · Share on Twitter
Years ago some one told me to get a quart sized spray bottle. Fill it almost up with water then add 1/4 cup of Hydrogen Peroxide. So whenever there was a frost strawberries, and blueberry blossoms would get sprayed with some of the liquid fertilizer. The fruit was large and very tasty. This was also sprayed on miniature rose blossoms when it was frosty. Those blooms were lunch plate sized. Thank you for a space to add garden tips.6 · Share on Twitter
@ines871 I hear you on the yarrow lol. It has taken over the 4X4 raised herb bed. I just cut a bunch back to dry for teas and to give the other herbs a fighting chance. Once I realized how much it was spreading I planted it in two location in my lot where the "control" is the mower lol. I've done several herbs like that. I am really excited to be trying some Pastel yarrow from Baker Creek. They have sprouted nicely and will look lovely in a few spots (that can be mowed, lol). I also planted some yellow ones from Fredericksburg Wildseed Farms. The sprouted reluctantly and are staying tiny. Maybe when it warms up they will be happier.
As for tips...I'm learning that Nature will do as it pleases, here more so than anywhere else I have lived. I've given up on some things, like the sense of control I used to have lol. I'm saving seeds from the plants that do take (if I like them) by letting one of them go to seed. The Black Seeded Simpson lettuce last year was just shaken over the lettuce area and I've had a flush sprouting and growth this Winter and Spring. I also left a carrot, then sprinkled them in a couple of areas and I've gotten some volunteers. I did that with cherry tomatoes and they are SO prolific lol. My daughter banned them this year. 🤣 I think those that make it through the season will be more likely to produce given our specific climate.
Side note: I am addicted to trying new things lol.
@ines871 yes, your concept is the rational way to be assured of the outcome that you want but I don't think many of us garden that way.
Myself, I am an experimenter in the garden. I DO NOT plant and prepare every move I am going to make. That takes all the fun out of gardening. And since I am doing it for the fun, no I will not make a meticulous plan to be sure I don't run into a situation like I did with the morning glories.
Since I have them, I have just learned to accept them and find ways to keep them within reasonable limits.
@Dianne Petersen thanks for this tip. I've never heard it before. I'll have to give it a try this garden season.
I'm just wondering one thing though, you mention to spray the blossom when frost is expected. How do you have blossoms though when it is still that cold enough to be frosting?
I love this thread. I will have to think of some things to add!
So is the flower itself invasive or is it some "weed" that looks like morning glory but is smaller? Guess I won't pull any out? I have learned that what is all right to grow in one area can be invasive in another. So Moving to a very different area is a challenging learning experience for the gardener.
love this idea
I plant my morning glories in baskets and they are over a cement porch. I like morning glories and I have some unique and rare varieites but they spread way to easy not to plan ahead.
Did you try this again @torey? I have found if you can plant in fall and let ther seed come up naturally they do see to be more tender. Seeds saved from these plants also seem to be more hardy and often will come up earlier that other seeds.
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