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I grew up loving wildflowers, their little blooms, their foliage, their purpose in life. They seemed to grow and bloom with absolutely no care or attention. I discovered quite early that none of that was true for my mother's prized dahlias. They had to be staked and tied and needed daily care. I wasn't very fond of a plant whose bloom was too heavy for the stalk it grew on.
Oct 2, 2015 8:18 PM CST
|These really are tough plants!
The first year (2013) I started them too early, fretted, anticipated, over-fertilized, watered faithfully and watched nervously, all for plants that just did so-so, and not all that much in the way of blooms anyway until just before frost. This year mine did not get much of anything that they should have, except consistent light rains and a bit of sunshine.
No stakes (I just can't abide them anymore )
No wind protection
No supplemental water
No fertilizing regime
No fussing and watchfulness
No space (to speak of )
Not really any soil even - this was pretty much a no dig year here, so they were just laid out on top of last year's wood chips and covered with a wheelbarrow load of manure-based compost and straw.
No picture yet either ( ), but the taller varieties just kind of pop up bloom stalks wherever they can. It works for me. They're doing okay, and blooming much longer than they have in the past.
Thanks for another wonderful story Sharon.
Do you reckon they'll be okay for next year, or have I more than likely exhausted them this year?
Newest Interest: Rock Gardens
Oct 2, 2015 8:39 PM CST
|You are taking them in during winter, right, Chelle? Of course you are. I think they'll be fine. They're really hard to hurt, neglect often just makes them stronger and surprises you. About the only thing that really hurts them is too much water but if your soil drains well then that's really no problem either.
I hate stakes too, but I keep a few of those green coated wire things with a circle at the top and stake them when I remember to. Mostly I have bushes now, simply because I hate staking so much. At any rate, my thoughts are that they will be just fine even with our benign neglect.
It was your manure based compost/straw this year that gave them all they needed.
I don't know, you are talking to the one who totally neglected hers last Summer and Fall and wasn't able to do any digging to bring them in last year either. There were about 5 or 6 that bloomed in mid August until just about 3 weeks ago. I could barely see them for the weeds and then my patch of goldenrod got loose in front of them so it wasn't a very pretty picture. It's been a rough year for plants around here. For people too.
It's just a really good thing that most of our plants are much stronger than we are.
Oct 2, 2015 9:21 PM CST
|Yes, in for the winter.
Thanks so much.
Newest Interest: Rock Gardens
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