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Ticagrumpy
Oct 24, 2015 2:02 AM CST
What time of year is best for buying and planting these outdoors?
Also, can kitty litter be useful in or on the soil?
Thank you!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Oct 24, 2015 5:45 AM CST

Moderator

Hi there Ticagrumpy, and Welcome! to ATP. So glad you found your way here.

The best time to buy and plant new sempervivum is in early spring. That is when they are actively growing after their winter dormancy.
It helps us to know what part of the country/world you live in, so we can consider what your special growing needs might be.

Kitty litter would not be something that would be safe to use in or on the soil. It can compact and also retain to much moisture, this would be harmful to your sempervivum. Instead use small gravel such as chicken grit or small pea gravel.
Here is a photo of what the chicken grit looks like. Just be sure it is not the chicken grit made from oyster shells, but from granite or some other crushed stone.


I hope this was helpful information?
Name: Judith
Northern Virginia (Zone 7a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
JKing
Oct 24, 2015 6:27 AM CST
Welcome, Ticagrumpy. This is my first year to grow sempervivum, and I'm truly bitten by the semp bug. I don't have enough experience with them to impart any deep wisdom. But I do know if you follow Lynn's advice, you can't go wrong. She grows hundreds and hundreds of different semps. Also, the chicken grit works well for me, too. Hurray! Welcome!
Thumb of 2015-10-24/JKing/601f9a

Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Oct 24, 2015 8:39 AM CST

Moderator

Lovely photo Judith. And a very nice container full of beautiful and healthy succulents. Lovey dubby

Ticagrumpy
Oct 24, 2015 11:43 AM CST
Thank you! I am in Hillsboro, Oregon. Not far from several of you. I will be looking for outdoor hardy types, for the most part.
Name: Judith
Northern Virginia (Zone 7a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Garden Ideas: Level 2
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JKing
Oct 24, 2015 12:46 PM CST
Thank You! , Lynn.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Oct 24, 2015 5:40 PM CST

Moderator

You are so welcome Judith.

Wahoo, Tica you are so close. You could come to the Sempervivum Hybridizing Clinic this coming spring. Believe me you won't regret it. A day of fun and learning about Kevin Vaughn's newest seedlings that will be coming on the market. The clinic is free and we would love to have you come join us. You can also learn about the ones that are the hardest and easiest to grow.
The clinic will be a Sat. in April, not sure which one yet.

Still hoping you will find a way to get time away from work to join us Judith. Hurray!
Name: Tim Stoehr
Canby, Oregon (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Region: Pacific Northwest Vegetable Grower Cactus and Succulents Sedums Bee Lover
Region: Oregon Dragonflies Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Composter Apples
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tcstoehr
Oct 25, 2015 11:01 AM CST
Early Spring, eh? Good to know. I'm glad somebody asked this. I happen to have just acquired a few new bare root specimens as a result of looking at Perennial Obsession's web site too late at night and while sipping a vodka and lemon. Blinking I didn't want to put them into the garden going right into the rainy season, which BTW appears to be beginning right this moment, at my house anyway. So I potted them up and tucked them into my cold frame which I generally only use in the spring. It will be 5-10 degrees warmer in there and more to the point sheltered from rain. I figure they'll stay in there 'til April or May, and probably won't want to come out.


Thumb of 2015-10-25/tcstoehr/be792c

[Last edited by tcstoehr - Oct 25, 2015 11:03 AM (+)]
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Name: Judith
Northern Virginia (Zone 7a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Garden Ideas: Level 2
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JKing
Oct 25, 2015 2:20 PM CST
Great cold frame, Tim. Lovey dubby Did you make it (with windows?) or did it come already "made?" I bet your new little semps will love it there.

Lynn, unfortunately, I will be right in the middle of buying a home and moving Sticking tongue out between March and May. But one of these days I do hope to come to the clinic. I followed all the posts and pictures on it this year. I'm all ears! I know it was a very enjoyable!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Oct 25, 2015 2:45 PM CST

Moderator

I wish you a smooth and uneventful purchase and move into the new home Judith. We can't wait to see what you choose. We will want to see all your new garden areas. Green Grin!
Name: Tim Stoehr
Canby, Oregon (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Region: Pacific Northwest Vegetable Grower Cactus and Succulents Sedums Bee Lover
Region: Oregon Dragonflies Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Composter Apples
Image
tcstoehr
Oct 26, 2015 11:41 AM CST
JKing said:Great cold frame, Tim. Lovey dubby Did you make it (with windows?) or did it come already "made?" I bet your new little semps will love it there.


I assembled it from a kit. Poly panels with an aluminum frame. It has an automatic panel on top that opens when it gets warm inside. It's fun to watch it open and close on a cool day when the sun is popping in and out. Without that it would roast inside when the sun comes out, but it closes up tight when the sun goes away.
Yes, plants love it in there.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Oct 26, 2015 11:59 AM CST

Moderator

Great garden feature Tim. Love it.
Name: Judith
Northern Virginia (Zone 7a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Garden Ideas: Level 2
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JKing
Oct 28, 2015 5:50 PM CST
Tim, your cold frame sounds pretty easy to assemble. I love the idea. It would be great for overwintering semps and maybe even echiveria. Thanks for the description. I may look into that.

Lynn, thanks for you good wishes on our move. Bev gave me some excellent tips for moving my potted semps. Hurray! Thank You! I don't have a lot, but I'd rather not have to start all over.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Oct 28, 2015 7:33 PM CST

Moderator

Bev is a pro at moving plants across the country. Thumbs up
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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webesemps
Oct 31, 2015 10:32 PM CST
Hilarious!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Oct 31, 2015 11:22 PM CST

Moderator

Just saying. Green Grin!
Name: Tim Stoehr
Canby, Oregon (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Region: Pacific Northwest Vegetable Grower Cactus and Succulents Sedums Bee Lover
Region: Oregon Dragonflies Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Composter Apples
Image
tcstoehr
Nov 1, 2015 11:18 AM CST
JKing said:Tim, your cold frame sounds pretty easy to assemble. I love the idea. It would be great for overwintering semps and maybe even echiveria. Thanks for the description. I may look into that.


I cannot imagine better place to overwinter potted semps. Here's the model I have, manufactured by Juwel.
https://www.atgstores.com/greenhouses/exaco-biostar-premium-...

As you can see, they're not cheap. I bought mine 10 years ago. I balked at the price but choked it down anyway. I don't know if these are overpriced or that's simply the price of quality components. It has operated flawlessly for 10 years and shows no sign of needing replacement. I'm sure there are cheaper alternatives but I needed something to handle my numerous vegetable garden seedlings that could regulate itself all day while I was at work. This was clearly the best alternative, so I paid the price knowing that my seedlings would be insulated from the cold but not overheated in the sun while I was away. I was buying some peace of mind I figured, and I was right.

As I laid awake last night listening to a thunderous rain downpour on my roof, I wished I could put my whole semp garden under a cold frame.
[Last edited by tcstoehr - Nov 1, 2015 11:20 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #980395 (17)
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Nov 1, 2015 11:42 AM CST

Moderator

My raised beds all came through the storm/downpour without any problems. It helps that our temperatures at night are still in the 50's F. And I think all the wind provides air circulation which also helps.
But I sure love your cold frame. It would be a wonderful thing to have for young newly planted offsets.
Name: Judith
Northern Virginia (Zone 7a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Garden Ideas: Level 2
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JKing
Nov 2, 2015 8:36 AM CST
Tim, thank you for the link. It's good to know from a reliable source (is that an accurate description of you, Tim) Big Grin that the frame has been dependable. For others who might be interested, there is a little better price on it right now at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Exaco-Juwel-BioStar-Premium-Frame/dp/B...

We are getting rain here in VA, too. I'm contemplating covering everything again because I didn't provide quite the perfect drainage in those pots. I bet the ground provides much better drainage, Lynn.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Nov 2, 2015 9:54 AM CST

Moderator

Judith, I just love your avatar photo.

In containers or the ground the results are pretty much the same. If the soil is not fast draining you will have issues with rot. I started having problems with the soil we put into the raised beds after two years or so. It had to much clay and not enough sand/grit/gravel. When we replace the wooden beds with cinder blocks we used a sandy loam mix from our local farm store. What a difference. This mix drains very fast.

Old wooden bed filled with clay soil mixed with compost. This did great for the first 3 years. Then it compacted and did not drain well at all during our many months of rain.
Thumb of 2015-11-02/valleylynn/dac015

New beds filled with sandy loam mixed with forest compost.
Thumb of 2015-11-02/valleylynn/7fa267

The problem with the sandy loam mix is that it drains so fast that to keep the semps looking good your really need to do more watering in the summer. We get almost no rain during the summer months.

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