Daylilies forum: Getting a "future" bed ready for daylilies...advise

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Name: Sue Petruske
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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petruske
Feb 17, 2018 8:38 AM CST
Wasn't sure where to ask this question, but since I plan to plant daylilies in the bed...thought I'd start here.

We have an asparagus bed (about 2-3 feet wide by 20+ feet long) that is doing poorly. Never did do well, perhaps because of black walnut trees (not real close but probably close enough). It's been there for at least 15 years.

I need to know the best way to kill the asparagus. Would round-up do it? Or do you think it needs to be dug up?? Ugh, hate the though of that since they are so deep.
Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
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bloominholes2fill
Feb 17, 2018 6:56 PM CST
Sue Perhaps you could cut them down to the ground and then lay down corrugated cardboard or newspaper to choke them out and prepare the bed in a 'lasagna' fashion by alternating the cardboard or newspaper and fresh organic compost and soil to a depth of 10 or 12 inches or more to accommodate the depth of the daylily roots, and perhaps giving them a chance against competing with the walnut roots for water and nutrients (provided those tree roots don't grow upward a bit after the raised bed is there for a while). This way you're not using chemicals or digging in to the tree's root system, and you could therefore start planting your daylilies fairly quickly. Smiling

This is just one of many examples
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=...

Good luck and happy gardening! Smiling
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized." - Yours Truly
Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then you should ALWAYS be Batman! - Unknown
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
https://www.youtube.com/channe...
[Last edited by bloominholes2fill - Feb 17, 2018 6:58 PM (+)]
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Name: Sue Petruske
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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petruske
Feb 17, 2018 9:02 PM CST
Dana, Thanks for the link. It is very interesting. I'll have to consider something like that. Wish I had a bunch of nice stuff to put on there like she has. (Wow, I can't imagine digging in the garden with bare feet. She is pretty tough.) Smiling

If I begin to take really good care of the soil, I guess I'm most worried about the asparagus actually perking up and growing through the amended soil. Just wondering if covering it with additional soil/amendments would be enough to stop it. 10 to 12 inches as you suggest would probably do the trick. But that would be a LOT of compost to buy.

I'll have to do some digging. Maybe I'll dig down to see just how healthy the asparagus roots look. I remember they were planted pretty deep.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Feb 17, 2018 9:13 PM CST
You might try cutting the stalks, then "painting" them with a paint brush using roundup. That is supposed to allow the poison to go to the roots and kill the entire plant. Asparagus is one thing I have never grown, so I am just reporting on what I have read.
Name: Arlene
Florida's east coast (Zone 9a)
Tropicals Daylilies Bromeliad Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers Birds
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florange
Feb 17, 2018 9:16 PM CST
My daylilies are planted in raised beds due to palm tree roots that are insistent on growing upward when I had the daylilies in the ground. I have printed instructions on how to make these raised beds if you are interested.
Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
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bloominholes2fill
Feb 18, 2018 4:57 AM CST
petruske said:Dana, Thanks for the link. It is very interesting. I'll have to consider something like that. Wish I had a bunch of nice stuff to put on there like she has. (Wow, I can't imagine digging in the garden with bare feet. She is pretty tough.) Smiling

If I begin to take really good care of the soil, I guess I'm most worried about the asparagus actually perking up and growing through the amended soil. Just wondering if covering it with additional soil/amendments would be enough to stop it. 10 to 12 inches as you suggest would probably do the trick. But that would be a LOT of compost to buy.

I'll have to do some digging. Maybe I'll dig down to see just how healthy the asparagus roots look. I remember they were planted pretty deep.


Yeah, I couldn't do my gardening in bare feet either! Hilarious! Hilarious!

My suggestion can be costly, but I wasn't sure whether you made your own compost, or had connections for compost and garden soil....or how 'deep' your pockets are, for that matter. Whistling *Blush* *Blush*

Larry's suggestion is a great one!! Thumbs up Much more safe than what I did to annihilate my raspberry patch, too! *Blush*

What I did was a little (okay, ALOT *Blush* ) more dangerous, D'Oh! to get rid of a very old (inherited with the house) raspberry patch that was invading a 4 year old perennial garden, even though I had dug out raspberry roots there when I first prepped that garden. Raspberries are so very invasive and quite difficult to get rid of! Even digging them up was not 100% effective, as I read online. Glare I searched the web at length on how to get rid of them for good, to no avail. Glare

So, what I wound up doing was to mix white vinegar with bleach and some dish soap in a squirt bottle and gently squirted the cut down stems with the nozzle against them. Now, my patch wasn't even close to the size of yours, so using a squirt bottle wasn't too rough on the hands. Worked like a charm, but as stupid as I was, I didn't use rubber gloves, and I had a scratch on my hand....ouch! D'Oh! D'Oh! It wasn't the most safe chemical combo, and I left some unused stuff in the bottle, to squirt any stubborn ones that wouldn't die over the upcoming weeks, and the pressurized gas built up in there and sort of "blew up" the squirt bottle. D'Oh! D'Oh! Okay, Okay....you Chemists can stop laughing now! Glare *Blush* *Blush* But I HAD to take drastic measures after other, more safe, options didn't work, and I couldn't make a raised bed there either. Sighing! I'm not one to live life on the edge like that, but I was a very desparate gardener, at that juncture! Blinking Blinking Plus I needed more room for daylilies!! Whistling

I'm still on the sunny side of the daisies, by the grace of God! *Blush* (Okay, that was more for dramatic effect. Whistling Hilarious! ) Us daylily addicts are, admittedly, a crazy bunch Whistling Whistling I'm all ears! and some more so than others! *Blush* *Blush* D'Oh!
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized." - Yours Truly
Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then you should ALWAYS be Batman! - Unknown
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
https://www.youtube.com/channe...
[Last edited by bloominholes2fill - Feb 18, 2018 6:12 AM (+)]
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Name: Mary Anne Jay
Wentworth, NS, Canada (Zone 5a)
Region: Canadian
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Raven
Feb 18, 2018 5:10 AM CST
Sue, I am wondering if you could save yourself a bunch of work by just cutting off the stems of the asparagus when they come through the ground. Plant your daylilies in the amended soil between stems and, as a shoot comes up, cut it off. Eventually, the roots should die with no plant to feed them. We had a bed doing poorly so just kept mowing over it and now there are no shoots there. It takes a couple of years though. Perhaps you could take one section and try that. Digging down the depth of asparagus roots would be a daunting task without a back hoe!! I also did this with some yucca roots I could not get down far enough to remove. Each time I saw green shoots, I cut them off. The shoots got smaller and smaller until they stopped growing altogether. Good luck!
Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
There's a place of quiet rest !
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Hazelcrestmikeb
Feb 18, 2018 7:44 AM CST
Dana you really made me laugh when you said that you are "still on the sunny side of the daisies". That is a woman gardening in that video. She knows her stuff and is not afraid to get her hands and feet dirty I tip my hat to you. . Don't try that at home Rolling on the floor laughing
Especially if you have a cut on your hands or feet.
Sue you have multiple options based on the many suggestions.
robinseeds.com
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"Be your best you".
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Feb 18, 2018 10:20 AM CST
So, what I wound up doing was to mix white vinegar with bleach and some dish soap in a squirt bottle and gently....

Dana, please don't ever do this again, it is very dangerous to mix vinegar (acetic acid) and bleach. From the Washington State Dept of Health:

"When chlorine bleach is mixed with an acid, chlorine gas is given off. Chlorine gas and water combine to make hydrochloric and hypochlorous acids.

Chlorine gas exposure, even at low levels and short periods of time, almost always irritates the mucous membranes (eyes, throat, and nose), and causes coughing and breathing problems, burning and watery eyes, and a runny nose. Higher levels of exposure can cause chest pain, more severe breathing difficulties, vomiting, pneumonia, and fluid in the lungs. Very high levels can cause death."
Name: Louise Alley
Central Maine, Waterville (Zone 5a)
BillAlleysDLs
Feb 18, 2018 11:03 AM CST
I planted seedlings in a "poor asparagus" bed. Only a few asparagus plants showed life until I added compost, daylily seedlings and side dressed with alfalfa meal. Now I have wall to wall asparagus and day lilies. I'm moving the day lilies that are close or on the asparagus now. They seem to be happy together. It's been about 3 years now so will see how it progresses.
If you really don't want the asparagus just keep cutting it all growing season and eat.
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Feb 18, 2018 11:59 AM CST
Asparagus is pretty easy to kill. As suggested, cutting and painting with Roundup would work, so would letting the asparagus fully leaf out and spraying then. I've used a kitchen hypodermic to inject Roundup into invasive Agaves and Aloes. The results were impressive. You don't need to grub out the roots, just the crowns. My crowns were only about 2"-3" deep, sounds like yours are deeper.

The hidden problem in this puzzle is the walnut tree. If the roots of the tree are in the proposed bed area, you are looking at years of headaches in the form of moisture-deficient, starving daylilies.

I have successfully grown daylilies near eucalyptus trees, but the solution is to go completely above ground with a totally impervious barrier between the raised bed and the ground. I used two layers of 6 or 8 mil plastic, with a barrier underneath (I used recycled fence boards) to prevent gophers and moles from damaging it, and a layer of cardboard on top of the plastic, followed by a layer of 1/2" hardware cloth to prevent shovel damage. Sounds like overkill, but if one pinhole should let water through to the earth below, the tree roots will find it, follow it, expand it and invade the bed. Also, the base liner of plastic needs to extend at least a foot past the sides of the bed so that roots don't go over the top of the plastic. I double-stacked 4" x 6" landscape timbers for the sides, and lined them on the bottom and soil side with a separate sheet of plastic to keep the dirt & moisture from contacting them.

I built two 4' x 8' beds like this over 30 years ago, and they're still good.

I would go easy on the compost, and fill the bed with your native soil mixed with ground bark, supplemented with other amendments you can gauge the quality of, such as locally-sourced manures and leaves. Contemporary "compost" tends to break down quickly into muck, as most of it is ground up wood products from tree-trimming companies and pallet/scrap wood from the local landfill.

Be careful about the stuff being sold in landscaping yards as topsoil. In my area, soil-yard topsoil is "sandy loam", heavily amended with manure, bark and "compost". (they call it "sandy loam", but it's mostly sand, and pretty lean) After a summer, the bed filled with it shrinks to 3/4 of it's original depth.
[Last edited by CaliFlowers - Feb 18, 2018 1:51 PM (+)]
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Name: Arlene
Florida's east coast (Zone 9a)
Tropicals Daylilies Bromeliad Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers Birds
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florange
Feb 18, 2018 12:14 PM CST
You folks confirmed just what I thought. Add good soil or compost or fertilizer and the asparagus would react immediately. I never fertilize our Queen palms, but they get fertilizer that washes through the daylily beds. One arborist told me I have the most beautiful Queen palms on the island and he asked what I did. Duh!!!
Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
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bloominholes2fill
Feb 18, 2018 12:35 PM CST
Thank You! for your concern and the info Sue! I tip my hat to you.

I knew, going in, that it wasn't the safest thing to do, trust me. Fortunately none of those things happened bc some thought was actually put into it. Although my husband might argue that it explains a few things! Hilarious! Hilarious! Anyway, it was mixed into a rather small spray bottle, outdoors, and like I said, I put the nozzle literally right against the open cut on the stems (that were cut down to just inches above the soil, and the spray was set to 'stream') and I gently squeezed the spray trigger to soak the cut end, assuring a good concentration killed them systemically, and so as to not allow any spray to fly through air, whatsoever. There was only a few ounces left over, and when I say the bottle blew, it wasn't a loud explosion or anything. It gradually split the top of the cap off from the bottom of the cap as it remained attached, and it didn't fly away or anything. No humans or animals were nearby, as it was outdoors and we were all inside. It was very effective, but trust me, I would NEVER do it again...

By no means was I suggesting this as a method. It was meant more as an example of what NOT to do Sad *Blush* *Blush*

I did this in 2015, and darned if a couple raspberry sprouts didn't pop up again last year. Glare Easy fix to dig them out though, and all is well. Thumbs up
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized." - Yours Truly
Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then you should ALWAYS be Batman! - Unknown
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
https://www.youtube.com/channe...
[Last edited by bloominholes2fill - Feb 18, 2018 12:49 PM (+)]
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Name: Diana
Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Region: Nebraska Organic Gardener Dog Lover Bookworm
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ShakespearesGarden
Feb 18, 2018 12:48 PM CST
We have some of the same garden features- big asparagus bed and a huge black walnut tree. Thankfully, neither impact my daylilies.

My first thought was, like Raven said, plant among the asparagus, and as they pop up, cut them and, I add, eat them. Just keep cutting them- without the greenery above, eventually, the roots will wither and die. I've seen our asparagus shoots go from thumb sized down to spindly stems in one season if we've over worked the crowns by taking too many cuttings. Plus side- if you like asparagus (ew) you can enjoy it while it lasts. And you won't have any wild chemistry experiments to admit to Smiling

Scout's motto: Be Prepared...
Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
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bloominholes2fill
Feb 18, 2018 12:52 PM CST
I heard that Diana Glare Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

Ken, I say do it right the first time. Better to overkill than to have to redo it all! Thumbs up
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized." - Yours Truly
Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then you should ALWAYS be Batman! - Unknown
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
https://www.youtube.com/channe...
[Last edited by bloominholes2fill - Feb 18, 2018 1:11 PM (+)]
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Name: James
California (Zone 8b)
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JamesT
Feb 18, 2018 1:46 PM CST
florange said:You folks confirmed just what I thought. Add good soil or compost or fertilizer and the asparagus would react immediately. I never fertilize our Queen palms, but they get fertilizer that washes through the daylily beds. One arborist told me I have the most beautiful Queen palms on the island and he asked what I did. Duh!!!


Palms thrive on exactly the same things that daylilies love. No wonder they do so well! It's a shame that so many people plant palm trees and then neglect them.

Name: Sue Petruske
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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petruske
Feb 18, 2018 7:08 PM CST
I think I'm going to try planting the daylilies and just cut the asparagus off as it grows. I'll just make sure NONE are left to leaf out to re-energize. I'll paint some round up on the cut stems when the asparagus harvest season comes to an end.

The black walnut trees shouldn't be a problem for the daylilies. The roots are far enough away from the bed. The greatest problem are the walnuts falling into the gardens from the tall, tall trees. What a mess walnut trees are!!!! I have to make sure the nuts all get picked up so they don't compost into the soil. There actually are daylilies growing on both sides of the asparagus bed now and doing well.

I'm thankful for all the suggestions. I'm so happy that you have all helped me come to a conclusion for a plan of action. Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
Daylilies Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses
Region: Ohio Winter Sowing Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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bloominholes2fill
Feb 19, 2018 2:19 AM CST
I wish you all the best Sue! Smiling
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized." - Yours Truly
Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then you should ALWAYS be Batman! - Unknown
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
https://www.youtube.com/channe...

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