Daylilies forum: How many is too many?

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Name: Dana P
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie
Daylilies Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses
Region: Ohio Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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bloominholes2fill
May 2, 2016 1:21 PM CST
My landscape transformation, from resembling that of the Munster's yard to a nice peaceful area, began in 2011.

I just discovered, and got addicted to, daylilies in 2014. I have about thirty cultivars (2015 was not a good financial year for us), and more on the way. Our yard is the size of a postage stamp, but the goal is a lush landscape. Although it's not even close yet, but there will be a great deal of dividing and purchasing daylilies in the future! I most likely won't have hundreds, unless we move to a larger property, but I must agree that, God willing, it might have no limitations! It's just too much fun!

I think that it will always be a work in progress!

It is a tug of war with the hubby, for me too! He does not deal well with change! It just hasn' t sunk in that the more I landscape, the less yard there is to mow! He's got severe allergies to grass pollen, and yet still gives me grief! Confused

As for weeds, I found this awesome contraption that pulls the weeds. It is on a long handle, and it grabs the weed with tines, then I twist it and pull! It leaves a hole the size of an aeration hole. Best thing since sliced bread and insect screens! Hurray!

A septic infection in 2013 has kicked my behind, on somewhat of a permanent basis, slowing me down drastically! I was 49 at the time, but I do push myself hard because of the exercise, and I couldn't just stop if I tried! I will work outside as long as my health allows! It's my therapy, as I'm sure it is for many of you, out there, too! Group hug
"The heart is happiest when the head and the hand work together" ~ Jay Leno (I think)
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 6b)
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Barbalee
May 2, 2016 1:31 PM CST
Shouting "AWESOME!| very loudy to Dana and Heidi! WTB! And, Dana, I hope you hang in for a very long time. Yep, it's therapy!
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Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Birds Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Heucheras Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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Hemlady
May 2, 2016 5:15 PM CST
Frilly, those violets really dig down deep in my soil. I have a lot of clay and even though I do mulch which should help break down the clay with time, it hasn't happened. It literally would take me a month of going out every day to dig them all out.
Lighthouse Gardens
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Frillylily
May 2, 2016 6:40 PM CST
my soil where the violets are is loose and powdery, it won't hold water at all hardly, so that is why mine don't root probably. strange, because they bloom like crazy like they are happy there though. Most of the rest of the yard is heavy clay like soil and it has been difficult trying to amend it for the other plants.
Name: Dana P
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie
Daylilies Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses
Region: Ohio Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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bloominholes2fill
May 2, 2016 8:22 PM CST
Barbalee, thanks for the well wishes!
Thank You!
"The heart is happiest when the head and the hand work together" ~ Jay Leno (I think)
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Hemlady
May 3, 2016 6:45 AM CST
It is difficult to amend clay once you already have all of your daylily clumps established. If I would have known when I planted most 20 years ago what and how to amend clay, my soil would be in much better condition. The soil under my pine tree is wonderful and very rich. If I happen to buy a new daylily, I always take a couple of shovels of that nice rich soil and put it in the hole before planting the daylily.
Lighthouse Gardens
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Frillylily
May 3, 2016 8:33 AM CST
that is what I am doing, my problem is figuring out what to DO with the clay I dig out Shrug!
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Birds Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Heucheras Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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Hemlady
May 3, 2016 4:16 PM CST
I wonder if putting the clay in a composter with some leaves and pine needles would help break it down???
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: Europe
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Arico
May 3, 2016 4:25 PM CST
I couldn't possibly put a number on it, but I think the moment they start to invade other territory, it's time to admit there's too many Smiling
Name: Charley
Arroyo Seco New Mexico (Zone 4b)
Live your Dreams!
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Charlemagne
May 3, 2016 4:39 PM CST
They say mixing gypsum with clay, from Ed Hume Seeds;

Are clay or hardpan problems in your garden? Gypsum may be just the answer to help break -up and loosen the soil structure. It's not a miracle and it doesn't work over-night, but a three-year program of yearly applications should help improve poor soil conditions. It's easy to apply and relatively inexpensive for the job it does. Gypsum is easy to apply! Simply spread it on the lawn with a lawn fertilizer spreader, at the rate of 40 pounds per thousand square feet. When preparing new soil for planting flowers, shrubs, vegetables or a new lawn, mix 20 to 30 pounds of Gypsum per one thousand square feet of heavy soil. Mix the Gypsum into the soil and water well.

If you are making an application of Gypsum on the soil around established plantings use it at the rate of only 40 pounds per thousand square feet. Under these circumstances the Gypsum can be spread or broadcast over the beds. And, like with the lawn, a single application should be done only once a year, over a three-year period. There is no need to mix it into the soil, simply water-it-in.The granular grade is the best, and easiest to apply, for home garden use.A single application each year is sufficient. And, it can be spread at any time of the year. Water it in right away, in order to get it working in the soil. Gypsum is neutral, non-toxic to humans and animals and does not burn.

You are welcome.

Charley
The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.
Name: Susan
Southeast NE (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Lilies Irises Cat Lover Dog Lover
Heucheras Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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stilldew
May 3, 2016 5:03 PM CST
I haven't counted lately but would guess I have over 100 daylilies and less than 150. Trying not to add any new ones without getting rid of one or 2 older ones. I'm 67 and still work fulltime and plan to for a few more years. I always deadhead at least the front garden when I get off my night shift. I probably grow more true lilies than daylilies and also a lot of iris, sedums and other plants. Still lifting 40 pound bags, but not with the ease I used to. Digging up and dividing big clumps of daylilies is hard work so I have been replacing some of them with the true lilies, but those can be hard to divide too. I think too many is when you can't keep them looking the way you like and it's no longer fun. Hope to have at least another 20 good years of gardening left, but know some changes may need to take place in time.
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 6b)
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Barbalee
May 3, 2016 6:47 PM CST
@Charley ~ The gypsum idea is a fabulous one! I think I'll hit the nursery to get some. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
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Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
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Polymerous
May 3, 2016 7:10 PM CST
Re comments on all of the gardeners being older... it's not just having the time, it's also having enough money to have a house and some land (not to mention to be able to afford the hobby). That's DD's take on it, anyway. (She just started her first "real" (non-academic) job earlier this year, and lives in an apartment. Her gardening at this time is confined to bonsai. She hopes to eventually buy her own home, but her passion seems to be for roses and poisonous plants Rolling my eyes. , not daylilies.)

I'm 61, I have somewhere in excess of 170 registered cultivars Blinking (NOT well taken care of), and have something like 180 seedlings (anywhere from a couple of months old to ten years old).

I am trying to downsize because 170 registered cultivars is too many for me to take care of decently, not to mention that my garden has a lot of shade, and not many places to put these plants (so many of them are sitting in pots, in the shade, and thus can't perform). My criteria for stay-or-go is mostly based on negatives. Is the plant rust prone (with no gotta-have traits to redeem it)? If so, then out with it. (The plant may get a short term reprieve for hybridizing with something resistant, if there is something about it that I really like or want, but rust resistance has become increasingly important to me.) Do the flowers open well here (we have cool nights)? If not, then out with it. Are the scapes shorter than I like, or are they top-branched, or are the blooms muddy in color, or do the blooms slick awfully during the summer? Out with it. Does that plant lack rebloom and have a relatively low bud count, with nothing special (such as large fragrant UF blooms) to more than compensate? Out with it. Does it just not turn me on (it looks nothing like the advertising images)? Out with it.

If I have a "yes" to any of the above answers, but I have mixed feelings about getting rid of the plant regardless (I have more than a few such plants), then I ask myself if I would really miss the plant if it were gone, and if there is some really good reason to keep the plant around (for example, I can't replace it if I change my mind, especially if it has certain genes I might want for my hybridizing projects).

I threw out a few registered cultivars last week, and a few more will probably be going this week (mostly due to a propensity to rust). That would seem like progress, except that I ordered a couple of plants last week *Blush* , and might get some Davisson UFs this fall.

It is beginning to seem like it is going to take some horrendous calamity, worse than rust and drought combined, to bring the numbers down here...
Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
Name: Dana P
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie
Daylilies Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses
Region: Ohio Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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bloominholes2fill
May 4, 2016 2:20 AM CST
I've read that gypsum is very good for amending clay soil, but I also read that peat is another option, and amending our soil with peat has loosened the clay quite effectively. I haven't really figured out the ratio because we have multiple densities of clay in our small yard. Some areas have iron veins, so it's basically a matter of amending the soil until it feels loamy. The peat also holds moisture while providing good drainage.

In the Fall, I add my own compost to the gardens in rotation (our composter is small). I then use our shredded Fall leaves as mulch for over wintering. In Spring, once I'm done dividing and planting everything, I top dress with wood mulch over the shredded leaves, which saves on the amount of wood mulch needed Hurray!

Half of my beds are filled in with ground cover, and the rest will be planted with ground cover this Spring. Saves on mulch!

I have extended the width of our driveway, by 24 inches, with patio stones over crushed concrete, so we took the soil that was dug from that area and dumped it in areas where new beds were planned, and again peat was used before anything was planted in a new bed. The extra soil volume allows for raised beds, which was necessary around our very old trees.

Last year, I started a program to fertilize the lawn and gardens with morganite in early Spring and again in the Fall. This Spring, things are taking off quite nicely! The best thing for me is that morganite won't burn, it's organic, and it's easy peasy to figure out. My dad was a chemical engineer, and I definitely didn't inherit *that* gene! Sighing!

"The heart is happiest when the head and the hand work together" ~ Jay Leno (I think)
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Birds Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Heucheras Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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Hemlady
May 4, 2016 5:25 AM CST
Thanks for the gypsum idea Charlie Thumbs up I do know that peat works too Dana. I have a bed that the previous owners of my house used to put peat in every year, and its the best soil now.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
May 4, 2016 6:34 AM CST
Gypsum only works for certain specific soils, and those soils are not particularly common. It is best to ask your local extension service if that kind of soil is present in your area and whether or not they recommend gypsum. Otherwise you may be wasting your money, or at worst throwing off the balance of nutrients in your soil.

Quoting from Extension.com ("research-based information from America's land-grant universities"):

"Gypsum, which is hydrated calcium sulfate (a low-solubility salt), is effective in treating sodic soils, which are soils high in exchangeable sodium. The sodium between soil particles attracts water, causing the soil to disperse. The dispersed particles seal the soil surface, reducing infiltration. Addition of gypsum replaces the sodium on the exchange sites with calcium, which results in flocculation of the soil particles into soil aggregates. The resultant sodium sulfate can then be leached out of the soil. Although gypsum does improve structure in sodic soils, it will not soften clay nor loosen compacted soil."

http://articles.extension.org/...

Another useful article is this one by Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott "The Myth of Gypsum Magic":

https://puyallup.wsu.edu/wp-co...

The usual recommendation for improving clay is compost. I used composted manure from the barn when I had clay and it worked beautifully. It's possible gypsum may work for some of you but I would suggest doing some local research first.
Name: Ashton & Terry
Jones, OK (Zone 7a)
Windswept Farm & Gardens
Hostas Lilies Hybridizer Keeps Sheep Pollen collector Irises
Hummingbirder Region: United States of America Daylilies Region: Oklahoma Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kidfishing
May 4, 2016 7:16 AM CST
We grow? 700-900 registered daylilies and 5000-7000 seedlings and that is too many but we are not slowing down for now.
The men in my family are the gardeners. My grandfather collected about 600 named daylilies during his life starting in the 1940’s and several hundred iris. My dad took divisions and added others and grows about 500 registered daylilies. I have always done some gardening and plant collecting. I guess I can’t help it since it runs in the family. My wife and girls are not so much into it but are supportive and get involved in helping make the gardens look nice with their creative hard work. I got seriously into daylilies when my son, Ashton, spent too much time hanging out with his grandpa, (my dad) in the flower gardens and became so interested in knowing about hybridizing daylilies at the age of 9. My dad and grandfather were not hybridizers, just collectors, so who knows where that interest came from. Anyhow we started collecting and hybridizing in 2009 and typically don’t do things on a small scale.
Space is not a problem as we live on 160 acres, but not all of it is used for daylilies. (Not yet)
We can’t really keep up with all that we do so our seedlings get well tested, growing in grass and weeds. Ashton, now 16 spends too much time on here instead of weeding the seedling beds. Those of you who are asking about the younger generation of gardeners, well I have one, but his mom says the age of electronics detracts and distracts from the work. He prefers being the pollen dabber and the record keeper and the picture taker. And his propagation interests go beyond daylilies. They include all kinds of woody cuttings (from flowering shrubs) and bearded iris and hostas. I can’t get new garden space ready fast enough. (How do you get a half acre of bermuda grass and clover converted quickly to garden space?) there is no way….(bermuda grass and sedge Thumbs down Grumbling Angry ) Maybe I could trade it for your clay Hilarious! .

Kidfishing
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 6b)
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Barbalee
May 4, 2016 7:38 AM CST
@Sooby, thanks for that advice! To the extension office I shall go! Thank You!

@kidfishing, I just saw where it is you live and that happens to be just about an hour from one of my sons! I don't see him often, but sometime when I do, I may pack some clay to bring to you without even asking for a trade :-)!!
Avatar is 'Global Crossing' 04-20-2017
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Frillylily
May 4, 2016 10:18 AM CST
I have thick bermuda 'grass' I say that w sarcasm because it is not grass. it is a weed from ...beeeeep....
I used round up and then tilled it, and then preen and then LOTS of diligent digging and pulling ....
I have it come up in my dl so bad I actually dug up the plant to pull it out.


I am using compost, adding soil from Lowes and using mulch over the clay areas so hope that will help eventually, there is no easy fix for the heavy dirt. Some of what we have is bright red thick stuff. I don't think there is a way to fix that (?)

Missouri (Zone 6a)
Frillylily
May 4, 2016 10:19 AM CST
Polymerous said:

It is beginning to seem like it is going to take some horrendous calamity, worse than rust and drought combined, to bring the numbers down here...



yup. Whistling
Oh, I can't possibly part w this one,

Oh, I have room for ONE more!

WHAT?! I can't get rid of THAT!

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