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Growing Daylilies Anywhere with a Soilless Mix

By spunky1
October 15, 2013

If you have ever purchased a plant from a nursery or big box store, you know they are grown in something other than soil. You can do the same at your house.

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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Oct 14, 2013 6:11 PM CST
spunky1: Thank you for sharing this wonderful tutorial for daylily beds; great job! Thumbs up I'm learning a lot about Daylilies on ATP this week!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Oct 14, 2013 6:33 PM CST
Great photo essay. Awesome beds!

How long do you find that the bark lasts before decomposing into powder and fine fibers and subsiding? Two or three years?

Can you just add more bark/sand mix to the top, or do you have to "repot" the daylilies into a whole new bed?

Name: Fred Manning
Lillian Alabama

Charter ATP Member Region: Gulf Coast I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Seller of Garden Stuff Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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spunky1
Oct 14, 2013 6:55 PM CST
It will last 2-3 years then I remove the daylilies then add a couple of inches of bark to replace what's deteriorated . I then add the lime and fertilizer and retill. You do not have to add more sand because it doesn't deteriorate. You can also just add to the top, but may have to lift the daylilies so they don't get to deep.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Oct 14, 2013 7:09 PM CST
>> may have to lift the daylilies so they don't get to deep.

Cool!

I'm a big fan of screened pine or conifer bark for containers and even seed starting, but I usually add some peaty-mix, say 10%. The PNW produces a lot of bark!

I wish they would slice it into long chips and shreds and coarse fibers, instead of grinding it into square nuggets and dust.

Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
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Horseshoe
Oct 14, 2013 7:29 PM CST
Great looking boxed beds and wonderful daylillies, spunky! Looks great!

Thanks for taking the time to document it all. Great job!!

Shoe
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Natalie
Oct 14, 2013 7:30 PM CST
Fred, thanks for this wonderful article! I was getting ready to send you a message and ask what the ratio was again! I can't seem to ever remember it. About the only thing I've been able to find here is cedar bark, but I'll keep looking. There are huge logging operations all over the place here, so someone must have some pine bark! If I can't find any, will cedar bark work? Probably not, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
Natalie
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
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blue23rose
Oct 15, 2013 3:14 AM CST
Very nice! I love the lattice on the boxes and this is a great way to stay on 'top' of those tree roots Smiling
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
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virginiarose
Oct 15, 2013 12:02 PM CST
Fred, great advice about the soil-less mix. I have a lot of my daylilies potted right now and I have problems with root rot. I heard about this before but did not have the nerve to try it for some reason. But after hearing about your success I will try it.
May I ask why do you add lime? Sounds like you do that automatically. May I ask what kind of fertilizer do you add?
I was wondering how long do the wood boxes last. Do they rot after a number of years? I love the lattice, that looks so attractive and the boxes seem like they would be so easy to manage.
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Oct 15, 2013 8:03 PM CST
Fred - Very impressive garden boxes! You really created a lovely raised garden area! Looks like your daylilies love it there!

I, too, was wondering about why you add lime to your soil?

I can not use wood here because of the humidity, rain, and termites. But I do make raised beds using concrete blocks. Works well, just a little heavier lifting and I have to use construction adhesive (instead of screws or nails) to secure them together. I add the concrete tops to each of the cinder blocks which serves as a nice place to sit while I weed and prune the raised bed and plants. For the middle bed and the top bed, I use recycled plastic boards. A bit pricey, but they don't rot or attract termites.

Thumb of 2013-10-16/beckygardener/5bab05

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
[Last edited by beckygardener - Oct 15, 2013 8:04 PM (+)]
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Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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blue23rose
Oct 15, 2013 8:21 PM CST
Very nice Becky!
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Oct 15, 2013 9:08 PM CST
Becky, that is beautiful! Gives me another idea for raised beds, which I think I'll end up doing. I love what you've done!

I'm wondering if the lime is because of possible acidity in the pine bark? I know pine needles are acidic, so maybe the bark is too? I suppose that the lime would balance that out? Just a guess, and it's the only thing I can come up with about the lime, especially since the mixture has no soil in it.
Natalie
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Oct 16, 2013 2:45 AM CST
That is beautiful Becky!! Great idea, and if you are talking about composite wood (plastic) I was wondering do they warp?
I love the look of your garden and the stepping stones are a really nice touch as well. You go girl!!!

Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Oct 16, 2013 11:10 AM CST
Thanks y'all!

Natalie - You might be right about why the use of Lime.

Susan - In response to your question about "composite wood (plastic)" warping ... it is flexible. The size I made the two upper beds is 4' x 4' and 2' x 2'. I am not worried about warping with those sizes. I would be reluctant to use it for anything bigger unless you added another ground brace right in the middle of each plank to keep it from warping/bending outward. The composite wood holds up very nicely. I don't know how it would handle paint. I did paint the cinder blocks a sky blue as I didn't like the gray look. I matched the blue color with my Plumbago shrub blooms that are scattered around that garden area. The plumbago blooms match the paint perfectly. I wanted some cool blue to tone down that hot area of my yard. I painted the pavers to match. And I have a concrete bench in that area that I also want to paint the same color. It helps pull it all together. I call that garden area my "Hummingbird and Butterfly Garden of Eden". LOL!

I use cinder blocks and concrete around my yard. I used to use wood, which didn't last long before they started rotting. The concrete/cinder blocks will last a VERY long time. The down side ... to remove them will be a chore if I ever want to change it up.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
[Last edited by beckygardener - Oct 16, 2013 11:14 AM (+)]
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Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Oct 16, 2013 4:39 PM CST
Thanks for the information. I think it is a great idea and the stones on top do dress them up which is just what I needed to see. They just look too tacky on their own but I always knew they were functional and cheap! Good thing is you do not have to worry about rot and same with the composite wood. Your idea to paint them the same color of your favorite plant is awesome. I never thought of painting my pavers and bench, hummmm. This should keep me going all winter. I need to pick out some colors..... Whistling .
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Oct 16, 2013 5:18 PM CST
These paving stones are not as tall or tidy or heavy or sturdy, but they let me make raised beds 8", 12" or 16" deep almost as fast as I can wheelbarrow the soil into piles.

They don't have to lean every-which-way, I just never mortared them together and haven't straightened them up in a year or two.

They're probably also cheaper, at 71 cents to $1.80 per linear foot.


Thumb of 2013-10-16/RickCorey/b0fc4e Thumb of 2013-10-16/RickCorey/e928e9 Thumb of 2013-10-16/RickCorey/2d3700

Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Oct 16, 2013 6:05 PM CST
That's it Rick, cheap and functional. You probably get a lot of rain also so the stones are a great choice because they will last a long time without rotting. I like your curved sidewalk too. Thumbs up
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Oct 16, 2013 6:38 PM CST
Thanks, Susan! I think they're even cheaper than wood. Certainly they're easier.

Assembly requires ... soil. I make a pile in the middle of the bed, then stand one paver on edge. Drag the soil toward it until it stands up. Repeat. Done.

Once a neighbor moved out, and I wanted to move one wall a foot or so in that direction. Move one paver, drag some soil. Repeat. Done. I think it took 10 minutes to move ten pavers, plus rake the soil level again.

I can straighten them out easily, I'm just lazy and busy.
Pull an inward-leaner back towards me.
Drag some soil towards it.
Lean it back in, wiggle it.
maybe drag a little more soil

Thump an out-ward-leaner using a flat 2x4 and a mallet until it's flush.
Done.

If a whole section ever starts to lean outwards more than a half-inch, like if I spent time wlaking on the soil in the bed, I use a sharpshooter spade to dig a wedge of soil out of the edge of the bed.
Push two pavers back in with my palm until they look right.
Hold them in place while I drag some soil back.
Done

I once made the effort to make a wall look tidy even though it is on a slope. I had to scrape the sloping soil with a mattock, then position some pebbles and gravel and clay on top to give a level surface as wide as the paver. Set that paver on top, LEVEL. Thump on it a bit with a 2x4 and a mallet. Next.

It's just right for my level of mechanical ability. The most complicated tool is a mallet.

Some day I'll put the masonry-cutting wheel on my angle grinder and cut some pavers to fit the smallest bed "just right". Then I'll glue them together and it will look like a "real planter". I'll also cut some angle-pieces so that the corners fit tightly despite leaning inwards. Yup: "some day".

Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
Image
beckygardener
Oct 16, 2013 6:47 PM CST
Rick - I like your thinking ... cheap and easy! Great idea for a sloping area, too! And a whole lot lighter than bags of concrete or even cinder blocks! LOL! I agree
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Oct 16, 2013 8:28 PM CST
Thanks very much!

>> Great idea for a sloping area, too!

I think they would do well to define terraces, by tilting them back against the slope. I have one spot where the grade is steep and runs far enough that I COULD put 2-3 terraces there, if I ever have that much time and energy. But it is in deep shade.

AND it is steep. I can see myself breaking my ankles repeatedly, or at least as many times as it takes to convince me "bad idea, Rick!" However, once I run out of other spots to put raised beds, I might have to rig climbing ropes and ... is it "carabiners"?


Thumb of 2013-10-17/RickCorey/b1eac8

Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Oct 17, 2013 3:10 AM CST
RickCorey said:Thanks, Susan! I think they're even cheaper than wood. Certainly they're easier.

Assembly requires ... soil. I make a pile in the middle of the bed, then stand one paver on edge. Drag the soil toward it until it stands up. Repeat. Done.

Once a neighbor moved out, and I wanted to move one wall a foot or so in that direction. Move one paver, drag some soil. Repeat. Done. I think it took 10 minutes to move ten pavers, plus rake the soil level again.

I can straighten them out easily, I'm just lazy and busy.
Pull an inward-leaner back towards me.
Drag some soil towards it.
Lean it back in, wiggle it.
maybe drag a little more soil

Thump an out-ward-leaner using a flat 2x4 and a mallet until it's flush.
Done.

If a whole section ever starts to lean outwards more than a half-inch, like if I spent time wlaking on the soil in the bed, I use a sharpshooter spade to dig a wedge of soil out of the edge of the bed.
Push two pavers back in with my palm until they look right.
Hold them in place while I drag some soil back.
Done

I once made the effort to make a wall look tidy even though it is on a slope. I had to scrape the sloping soil with a mattock, then position some pebbles and gravel and clay on top to give a level surface as wide as the paver. Set that paver on top, LEVEL. Thump on it a bit with a 2x4 and a mallet. Next.

It's just right for my level of mechanical ability. The most complicated tool is a mallet.

Some day I'll put the masonry-cutting wheel on my angle grinder and cut some pavers to fit the smallest bed "just right". Then I'll glue them together and it will look like a "real planter". I'll also cut some angle-pieces so that the corners fit tightly despite leaning inwards. Yup: "some day".



>>> Yup: "some day".

My feelings exactly!! Rolling on the floor laughing
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood

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