Sempervivum forum→Use tires to plant in

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(Zone 5b)
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frogfan
Jan 31, 2020 2:17 AM CST
Tires are excellent containers for semps. Cut one rim off. Half sand half leaf mould for media with zeolites, rock dust and soak with a humate solution new plants. The cut rim goes under the tire. Staple ground cloth to it on the top of the inverted rim under the tire. This will prevent invasions from stoloniferous plants. It also allows you to place these containers on bare ground. Use a weed wacker to keep them trim around them and preventing grass seed from blowing in. You can take a car tire and have it completely full of semps by the end of one growing season. They like the crowding. Spacing them initially 3 semp starter diameters apart across the tire. If you have less than this. Pinch off the pups and continue spacing them across the tire as they reproduce. The result by the end of the growing season will be a uniform size in all represented varieties from start to finish. Including the original plants. Since car tires are ergonomic for use it makes perfect sense to use them. You can manage hundreds in this capacity, easily. One variety to a tire. They will grow faster. You can cover the top of the planting with a light colored sand to keep light reflecting off of the surface during the growing season. The bottom rim uncut in the tire will catch rain water. They will winter without protection in this format and not rot off. Do you want to know what to cut the rim with?
Name: Lynn
Oregon City, 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 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Jan 31, 2020 8:56 PM CST

Moderator

Hi frogfan. Great idea about the tires. I have used the to plant potatoes in, and have seen semps planted in them.
Do you have photos of growing semps in tires? Which ones do you grow?
(Zone 5b)
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frogfan
Feb 1, 2020 2:16 AM CST
Very few varieties now. Had around 25O-300 species and cultivars at one time.
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[Last edited by frogfan - Feb 1, 2020 3:48 AM (+)]
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Central CT (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Sempervivums Hibiscus Sedums Garden Photography Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Butterflies Hummingbirder
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JesseInCT
Feb 1, 2020 5:53 AM CST
How do you cut the rim off, sawzall? Good idea frogfan!
(Zone 5b)
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frogfan
Feb 1, 2020 9:47 AM CST
Gerber Gator Folding Knife, Serrated Edge
Tried many other options, this has served well.
The handle is no slip. The point goes through the tire to start.
The serrated edge does the cutting. Two hand lengths allow you to lift the tire away from the point of cut. The serrated edge will slice very easy not being pinched with each pull or you can saw ever so slightly as you go. Just keep the cut rim away from the blade as you cut. Twenty tires in the morning each day adds up. No wear and tear on you. Start with lower numbers and practice. You can fold muscles if you try to many and that can take months to right itself. So take it slow and work comfortably. The knife is around 30 bucks. Get a serrated blade sharpener, they are about 8 bucks. No metal confronted in the cut. The rim has a soft spot between the tread. That is where you push in with the point. After 25 yrs I am using the same knife. Its a keeper. Save your rims they are useful too. Stack them. You can grow in these as well. Will describe later. Wear leather cloves when handling tires. Treads can have metal popping out. The cuts are painful, like copper.
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Name: Lynn
Oregon City, 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 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Feb 1, 2020 9:52 AM CST

Moderator

They are beautiful frogfan.
Love you avatar. Is that a frog, or a young toad?
And what is that growing with the semps in the first photo? Looks like some kind of lettuce?
Can you tell us the names of the ones in your photos. They are lovely and very healthy looking.
Name: Lynn
Oregon City, 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 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Feb 1, 2020 9:56 AM CST

Moderator

We cross posted frogman.
Can you take tutorial type photos for us? This would be very helpful.
Were did most of your collection come from? What part of the country do you live in?
(Zone 5b)
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frogfan
Feb 2, 2020 2:14 AM CST
Could not tell you the names. They are probably hybrids which I know does not help the question. The emerging green leaf plant is Dodecatheon redolens-Primula fragans. I did have a database that has the names associated with pictures but not these pictures.
My interest in the semps was growing them in different media recipes derived as much as possible form local plant resources to benefit the plants with very minimal inputs mimicking as close to nature as possible the tire container. Based on observations over time each tire allowed me to try different recipes. These were maintained in a database. Found that intimate plant association could augment positive growth outcomes for the semps and these partnerships can be composed of hybrids, natives or exotics species. The partners were limited by the environment here.
(Zone 5b)
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frogfan
Feb 2, 2020 3:01 AM CST
The avatar is a common gray tree frog in the field Dryophytes versicolor or Cope's gray true frog? Hard to tell. Both are in my location. Turned green holding it. Found a few more semp partner shots.
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Name: Lynn
Oregon City, 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 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Feb 2, 2020 10:02 AM CST

Moderator

What are your winters like?
I love seeing these photos of other things growing with the semps.
The last photo looks like a Fritillary? growing with a lovely velvet textured semp.
The second photo looks like species tulip leaves?
Not sure about the first photo, could it be narcissus? So pretty against the deep purple of the sempervivum.
All of your sempervivum looks so healthy.

Love the frog.
(Zone 5b)
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frogfan
Feb 2, 2020 2:36 PM CST
Your right on all the plants above. Bulbs do get good results being ephemeral, they get out of the way later as they pull in their resources as far as light exposure goes. Their contribution is significant and it is not a problem for the semps as they push through mature semp cap on the next cycle. But you will run out of room so it is important to keep expanding the plantings. I noticed on another thread that people were growing in cinder blocks. I have used these too for smaller varieties and smaller quantities and seedlings. Supplemental watering is not as necessary in blocks and the roots are less stressed. Moving from block to tire and back if you want to isolate any sports is handy too. Enough pups can be harvested to setup a tire from a few blocks.

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Name: Lynn
Oregon City, 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 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Feb 2, 2020 3:15 PM CST

Moderator

I also grow smaller bulb plants with my semps, and I do grow in cement blocks. In fast, all of my semps are grown in 4 x 8 foot cement block beds. Some of the bulbs are grown in the holes of the blocks, others are planted in the beds with the semps. I find the Tulipa 'Little Beauty' can really take over an area in a hurry, it multiplies like rabbits. I think it also increases by seed very easily.
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With a little thought as to seasonal coloring of the semeps you can make some very pretty pairing. I am just now figuring that out, the part about color and texture combinations with the semps.
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I have the opportunity to really create some nice combinations this year. We will be moving this summer. I hope to be very thoughtful this time in the placement of plants. More planned, less accident. Smiling

Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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pardalinum
Feb 2, 2020 4:10 PM CST
Lots of nice color echos in your last photos, Lynn. Everything looks real nice. Maybe you will be able to go through your photos when you start replanting to help get things how you would like.
Name: Lynn
Oregon City, 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 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Feb 2, 2020 5:38 PM CST

Moderator

Thank you Connie. That is what I am trying to plan ahead, by looking at all the old photos.
(Zone 5b)
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frogfan
Feb 3, 2020 4:41 AM CST
About weather here. It is variable. It can get to 32℉ below zero or over 100℉ both rare but have happened in my experience here. We are two thirds the way done on a into a 30yr dry cycle. Peonies love it.

The dry cycle here will end when FL goes into their 30yr dry cycle.They are filling the everglades. The two peninsulas share yin and yang relationship. One is dry and the other wet.

In the wet years here it rains every three days during the growing season. It is hard to hay in this cycle because it can rot on the cut hay on the field. Picking the right time to cut and lift has been predicted better in recent years you have to choose your model based on what is happening locally.

In the winter we can have lake effect snow. It can build up quickly and deep and covers everything.

The land I am on is lake bottom. Holds surface water. Good pottery clays and crayfish chimneys. Wet meadow species are represented and in the woods the same wet environments extend. It is difficult in clay to grow soy-corn rotation, which is the monoculture cycle here, because the land can be too soft and equipment often gets stuck. Planting and harvesting times can vary then. It is not uncommon on a drive a few miles and find fields ahead and behind in the same crop.

The tire gave me more varieties of soil choices because the native soils would not support them and their amendments or recipes would not be lost into the clay.

Tires can finish any species quicker than in the ground. It could be a good choice for landscapers, rather than planting spotty 1 and 2 and gallon containers with some b&b thrown in a fields of bark. Rather when using tires you can plant a mature finished planting that looks really seasoned settled without a clue it was bare ground hours before and tires are re-useable.

Because the soil is so wet in the wet cycle years, crocus in cold frames would bloom in the first week of February and when nothing is happening outside. That is like being in TN.

Example: When it was 32 ℉ below my cold frames were 18 ℉ above zero on an over cast day.

If you go in any direction from my location it can change to muck fields, beach and gravel. This entire area was an ancient lake.

In tires I have grown close to a thousand species and cultivars including fruits, vegetables, trees, shrubs, grasses, woodland plants, ferns you name it, all with better performance than growing in the ground or nursery containers. I have grown plants in other locations and containers to compare.

The model is a humus recipe on top and clay below, like a rain forest floor.

This is a viable portable method. Another benefit is if you take spill, the landing is softer than on bricks.

A small nursery or garden center could supply itself with most of its seasonal plant sales this way. Without incoming truckload shipping costs, without fertilizer inputs, if water is needed an in expensive low pressure variable spray or drip system can be easily applied and moved, added to as needed with all the tools you need to put it together or modify carried in a single pocket.

Disease is not an issue. Insect pests not an issue. If you wanted to break down your plants for resale out of tires you have more than one option within a season. The plants recover running from transplanting just fill the lost areas with your humus recipe.

I grow without herbicides, insecticides, fertilizers. Pretty close to nature. I use an IPM management system with biological control solutions.

IPM with solutions engaging chemical integrations have to be separated by time and space if biologicals are being used. This can be limiting because you can throw the baby out with the bath water if your not paying attention.

The default recommendations on the use of biologicals even from producers, suppliers and consultants is for the most part not cognizant of biological control capability.

Traditional IPM is their model with biologicals first and a followup of chemicals to save your crop if its it going south. This model has been difficult to apply successfully because it one defeats the other.

Chemical insecticides where used early by the USDA-ARS to study pest insects on crops by creating infestation levels and greater. Because the chemicals were used to kill the pest's predators and parasites. That is how chemical insecticides work. Herbicides reduce soil microbiome diversity and fertilizers can increase plant pathogens in the soil. Commercial investors saw these hamster wheels as an opportunity for repeat business. Short term profits.

The recommendations with classic biological control in reference to IPM are based on speculation without experience. Biologicals are intelligent and mobile.

Your plantings are impressive, diverse, a well organized growing repository. Good to see the plant integrations too. I use the spaces made between blocks as well.

Outside of the Little beauty have you found any other plant integrations with semps beneficial?

Have you ever had or heard of in the plantings of semps a total loss of mature plants and crowns being cut off and disappeared?

The beds between your block lines can be divided up if you like by cutting both the rims off the tire. You can squeeze the flexible treads between your brick lines to squares, triangles, ovoids and circles to separate the bed areas, lessening communal entanglements on par with the bricks. Any spaces between shapes can be filled like the bricks.


(Zone 5b)
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frogfan
Feb 3, 2020 4:26 PM CST
Example of finished tires with sedums for landscaper plantings of an established garden in a short time.
Found a shot of the cut off semps, lost, these were full plants with 20 plus pups. Would appreciate any thoughts on this. Hundreds were removed all at once.
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Name: Lynn
Oregon City, 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 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Feb 3, 2020 8:15 PM CST

Moderator

Love that first photo, looks like sedum really love being grown that way.
Hmmm, that last photo sure looks like rot to me. Have you checked for grubs or leather jackets? They underground and eat the roots and some of the inside of the crown. The the plant collapses/rots.
The thread "Leatherjackets eating your semps?" in Sempervivum forum
(Zone 5b)
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frogfan
Feb 4, 2020 2:30 AM CST
This was a dated shot beyond the event. I should have taken one at the time it happened. The flesh of the roots was a fresh cut topping the rosette. The roots where untouched. I know about grubs and this was not. No evidence found pulled and inspected all the victims to find an explanation. No grubs found. This loss was confined to blocks. Few if any pups were left on the stem. Sometimes the cut was higher leaving some of the rosette. The dried leaves in the picture. This happened without any snow cover. Within a couple of days of a previous inspection. All was normal then. This was a one time event that happened after growing semps in the open for decades, it has never repeated. Mentioned it because I thought someone else working with them might have had it happen and had some explanation or more evidence.

I was encouraged to see blocks being used. This was specific to the loss parameters on these semps. Had other species in blocks untouched as well. Very selective occurrence. They were this size at a minimum, some more advanced in the pups in the attached pic.

Included a shot of my humus media. The raw media was inoculated with a consortium of bacteria and fungus representing multiple species. They contributed to the composting rate, but also provided the nutrient network community to support the plants needs. Pests, such as grubs were compromised on exposure to the media and transformed by the consortium community to the benefit of themselves and the plants. The plants were protected and fed by the partnership. This was a mini-extension of a product I developed initially in 89 to transform chemically farmed fields to organic specifications in one growing season. Applied fields produced a record harvest after applications. Brick values were very high. The media recipes are scalable so container plantings can benefit too.

Looking forward to any inputs from growers of semps, especially with a similar circumstance.



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Name: Lynn
Oregon City, 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 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Feb 4, 2020 10:21 AM CST

Moderator

Do you have deer or rabbits. Not sure what other wildlife you might have where you live. I know @goldfinch4 (Chris) has had some losses similar to yours during winter. Voles can be a very big problem in some gardens. We have deer, rabbits, voles, gophers, squirrels, and even some of the birds will pull some colonies apart and scatter them.
When we constructed out beds we put 1/4" hardware cloth under the beds so burrowing rodents could not gain access. This photo was taken in 2013 when we started converting all the wooden beds to cement block.
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(Zone 5b)
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frogfan
Feb 4, 2020 5:59 PM CST
I do have both deer and rabbits. Deer will defecate not far from their feeding. No evidence of this and no tracks. Rabbit feeding is very obvious and these were clean cuts not having multiple bites. At the time this happened rabbits were not evident. We had people dropping cats off on the highway and so we had many feral cats circulating the farms, the rabbit population was nonexistent. When this happened.
No gophers either and ground squirrels, they would be still hibernating. Thanks for tossing it around.

On your blocks if you use a weaved ground cloth heavy duty. It will pinch the roots on the plants. This increases your root mass, which increases the speed of nutrient and water absorption. The plants grow faster and bigger in the same time period. Dewitt has a good selection weaved ground cloth. I have cloth still in use after twenty years.

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