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Avatar for Firstgardenblues
May 9, 2018 1:06 PM CST
Morrisville pa
I planted my first garden about two weeks ago. I live in pa with clay? Soil. My front garden gets very direct sun. At first everything was going well. I watered in the morning with a sprinkler for a half hour everyday. After about a week the garden looked worse. It has been very hot. I am not sure if I over. Or under watered the plants. My Karen azalea lost many of its flowers and wilted the rest. My white azaleas on the corner had just started to bloom but stopped due to withering. We thought it was an over watering issue so we stopped watering for a few days. Things seem worse.

We planted with compost. Azaleas and rhododendron got hollytone and Biotone. The rest got just biotone. All were watered when they went into the ground with miracle grow and then for 30 minutes a day each next day with just water.
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Avatar for RpR
May 9, 2018 1:14 PM CST
Name: Dr. Demento Jr.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Dig down and see what the soil is like.
How large of a hole did you make for each plant?
What type of compost?
What is the black stuff?
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May 9, 2018 1:25 PM CST
Name: Kyle
Middle TN (Zone 7a)
Region: Tennessee Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses Ferns
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Did you plant them without breaking up their rootballs? If so they're probably not putting new roots out into the new soil and their rootballs could be dry even though the surrounding soil is moist.
Avatar for Firstgardenblues
May 9, 2018 1:34 PM CST
Morrisville pa
RpR said:Dig down and see what the soil is like.
How large of a hole did you make for each plant?
What type of compost?
What is the black stuff?



I don't know anything about soil, what should I be looking for? Moist is the best I got.

We dug a bit larger than the pot it came in maybe 1.5x bigger.

Bumper crop

Mulch
Avatar for Firstgardenblues
May 9, 2018 1:36 PM CST
Morrisville pa
quercusnut said:Did you plant them without breaking up their rootballs? If so they're probably not putting new roots out into the new soil and their rootballs could be dry even though the surrounding soil is moist.


We "roughed up" the roots on the outside. So that the outer roots could spread Is that inadequate?
Avatar for RpR
May 9, 2018 2:43 PM CST
Name: Dr. Demento Jr.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Firstgardenblues said:
I don't know anything about soil, what should I be looking for? Moist is the best I got.
We dug a bit larger than the pot it came in maybe 1.5x bigger.
Mulch


Dig a hole one by one foot or so and pour water in. How fast does it go away?
Wider or deeper?
Mulch : What type of mulch?
What is it made of?
How thick was it?
Mulch is not simply mulch, there is good stuff and absolute crap.
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May 9, 2018 3:22 PM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
GROW ORCHIDS!!!
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Good mulch or bad mulch should not cause any real damage that quickly.

It sounds to me like your water is inadequate. Watering with a sprinkler for a half hour basically tells us, and you, nothing. You should have really watered these plants after planting with a garden hose. A water breaker on the end would be ideal. I would soak them well right after planting. The root ball would suck up that water. You could water them well again 5-7 days later depending upon how warm it was. If you used a fan or oscillating sprinkler, a half hours time would barely put down enough water to wet the soil surface. Had they been watered properly from the get go, they should be fine at this point.
In short, don't spritz a little water, WATER newly planted plants.
Every day God gives me is just a true blessing!!!
Avatar for RpR
May 9, 2018 3:35 PM CST
Name: Dr. Demento Jr.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Is that bed at an angle?
Take a pitcher of water and pour it at glass filling velocity on the mulch.
If the water is running off of the edge there is part or your problem.
I am saying this as your mulch looks compacted while the rock wall looks as if dirt was washing out of the garden.
Last edited by RpR May 9, 2018 3:47 PM Icon for preview
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May 9, 2018 3:41 PM CST
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
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I agree with Bill, not enough water. The best thing would be to have made sure the pots were well watered before you unpotted the plants - a dry rootball from a pot is very hard to re-wet once planted. Before mulching the ground should have been moistened. Also when planting I prefer not to fertilize until the plants have settled in. Too much fertilizer actually makes it harder for plants to take up water and water is more important.

The lawn is brown which also suggests not enough water. I find a lot of plants don't like the black mulch, I suspect because it increases the heat around the plants because of the dark colour but it seems to depend on the plant.

In the second picture, the boxwood (?) at the back appears not to be fully in the ground.
Last edited by sooby May 9, 2018 3:43 PM Icon for preview
Avatar for RpR
May 9, 2018 3:51 PM CST
Name: Dr. Demento Jr.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
sooby said:
The lawn is brown which also suggests not enough water. I find a lot of plants don't like the black mulch, I suspect because it increases the heat around the plants because of the dark colour but it seems to depend on the plant.

Sue has a very, very good point there, what type of sprinkler are you using?
If you watered as you said, that grass should not be brown along the edge of the retaining wall.

If that hose reel just sits there, how long is it in the sun before the sprinkling starts.
My other half learned that hot hose water kills plants the hard way.
Before I water plants, other than just the lawn, including my planted garden, I always let the water run till cool water out of the wall faucet is there.
That water in the hose is stale and hot at times, actually very, very hot at times.
Last edited by RpR May 9, 2018 3:58 PM Icon for preview
Avatar for Firstgardenblues
May 10, 2018 7:12 AM CST
Morrisville pa
quercusnut said:Did you plant them without breaking up their rootballs? If so they're probably not putting new roots out into the new soil and their rootballs could be dry even though the surrounding soil is moist.


We "roughed up" the roots on the outside. So that the outer roots could spread Is that inadequate?
Avatar for Firstgardenblues
May 10, 2018 7:25 AM CST
Morrisville pa
Unfortunately I cannot go back and "water them properly" from the get go. What should I do now. If I start using a hose to water and for longer but less often will the plants in bad shape come back, or should I take them out and replace them.


The bush in my second picture is my very sad azalea.

The bed is on a slant but I have not noted any runoff.

The grass is dead over different stupidity. The garden had been left unkept for 30+ years before we inherited it. We placed a tarp down to catch the overgrown plants we removed. The process took longer than I anticipated. Grass was without sun for long enough that i killed the grass.... I have so much to learn. Appreciating your help!
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May 10, 2018 8:19 AM CST
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier
The plants look fine to me.

Azalea flowers don't last long, and look terrible when they finish.

I assume that you bought the plants in full bloom... probably at the end of the bloom... they were on the way out, before you even got them.

My only concern would be that you planted azaleas and rhododendron in full sun! strictly shade plants down here.

I'm not a fan of the dyed mulch, but that shouldn't be a concern.

If you checked the soil and it's moist... I suggest not getting over-concerned, and just wait it out... clay holds moisture very well...
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May 10, 2018 11:35 AM CST
Name: Kyle
Middle TN (Zone 7a)
Region: Tennessee Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses Ferns
Hostas Foliage Fan Bromeliad Heucheras Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds
Firstgardenblues said:

We "roughed up" the roots on the outside. So that the outer roots could spread Is that inadequate?


Should be.
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