Plant identification and habits...???

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  #1  
Old 06-15-02, 06:49 PM
chadtoolio
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Question Plant identification and habits...???

I am just getting into the whole gardening and yard beautification thing and am having some trouble..

The other day I was fertilizing some of my hibiscus and decided to fertilize some rose cuttings I am rooting as well. The fertilizer was for acid loving plants and I soon found out that roses do not love acid.LOL Boo-Hoo

My delimma is that I would like to know how to properly care for my plants but am having trouble finding a book on the subject that covers it.

I need help with:

Plant id tips
feeding habits(npk), or other feeding habits
zone hardiness
flowering times
propagation methods

The more info the better...

Don't mind spending the money on the book if it has useful info!
 
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  #2  
Old 06-15-02, 10:49 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Welcome to the wonderful world of gardening! You may find it difficult to find one book that will give you all the info you are looking for. One book that I have found to be useful is 'The Well Tended Perennial Garden'. I can't remember the name of the author. Martha Stewart put out a book several years ago that I got from the library that was very well done, with the bloom time and colors of many plants. I don't remember the name, but I'm sure a search at the library would help. I think the book was published in the late 70's or early 80's.

My suggestion would be to go to the library and take a look at the garden section. Start leafing through some and see which ones you like. I use several for plant id. There aren't too many that have an encyclopedia in them with all the plants you might be interested in.

There are also other fourms that you can go to and read the posts of others. Some are very informative. One that I particularly like is The Garden Web. They have forums on just about any topic you could think of and some very knowledgeable people that hang around there. Here is a link to their main forums page.

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/

If there was only one piece of advice that I could give you about gardening, it would be to pay attention to your soil. Add LOTS of organic matter such as compost, which is almost neutral in ph. I don't like synthetic fertilizers as they tend to be like putting your plants on steriods and can leave behind residual salts. If the soil is healthy, then the plants living in it should be better able to fend off pests and diseases as well. What else would I advise? Well, the right plant for the right place. If a plant needs good drainage, then a site that stays damp in the winter will kill it (I learned this the hard way!). Also, pay attention to what the sun or shade requirements are. That will also make a huge difference in the performance of the plant. And I guess the last thing I would suggest is to consider natives. I have found them to be more pest and disease resistant. I'm not a purist, but that's just my observation.

Cuttings shouldn't be fertilized at all until they have a good root system and are in soil. Using something like fish emulsion or a liquid kelp should be a good fertilizer that won't burn them.

Don't hesitate to ask questions.

Good luck,
Newt
 
  #3  
Old 06-17-02, 07:20 PM
chadtoolio
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Thankyou Newt!

I spent about an hour at Barnes and Noble the other day and found a very good book on one of the things that I want to learn about titled "Secrets of Propagation".

It seems like just like anything, the specifics of a plant are nice, but unless you know the basics it's useless..

So for now, I will keep it small and continue to read, learn, and experiment.

My yard and "garden" look better than last year and will look better next year..

You spoke of using natural type fertilizers instead of synthetic. I agree, are there any places/books specifically on this topic that you know of for me to learn about it?

Thanks for all the advice
 
  #4  
Old 06-18-02, 12:54 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
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An hour at Barnes and Noble! Cool. I could spend hours there and often do around Christmas time when looking for books for my family. Border's is another fun place.

Glad to hear that your yard is looking better and better. Mine is too, as I learn more about soil. It really is fascinating. Last year we started a major renovation on the house (mostly exterior then) and the yard. I had to dig up EVERYTHING and put them in pots (500 in all) for what I thought was the summer and cut down 5 trees (wrong plant, wrong place), remove some of the topsoil (too much in my walled garden) and regrade. Well, as fate would have it, the renovations took much longer than anticipated as I'm still planting the pots. We had to bring in lots of compost and some sand to mix with our Maryland clay and dig it in. We discovered that we had NO worms then. Well, with the addition of the compost, the worms have returned. The soil, and what you add to it, makes a tremendous difference.

There are two places where I learned about the soil. One is from Elliot Coleman. He's mostly into farming, but has more knowledge about soil than anyone I know. He's written several books and they are well worth seeking out. One called 'The Four Seasons Harvest' is mostly about veggie gardening, but lots of info on soil.

The other place I learned about the soil and organic fertilizers (and much, much more) is The Garden Web. I realize that you are a moderator and this is a forum as well, but LOTS of knowledgeable people hang around there. They have forums on just about anything you could think of, including 'Plant Propogation', 'Soil, Compost and Mulch' (you will love this one - lots of organic info here),'Organic Gardening' (great for organic fertilizers) and the list goes on and on. Here's a link to their main forums page. Take a look at the left side of the page as well for other topics, such as different regions of the country. They even have one on 'Books' with reviews and exchanges. You might want to take a peek at some of these and do some reading.

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/


I also watch as many gardening programs as possible, taping them when I can't watch and viewing them later.

Oh yes, I use green sand, rock phosphate and blood meal when working a new bed (from Elliot Coleman) and use fish emulsion as a foliar and soil fertilizer. A liquid seaweed fertilizer is good as well.

Hope I've helped,
Newt
 
  #5  
Old 06-18-02, 02:40 PM
Gami
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Hi Newt,

I just wanted to say, I try to watch ALL the garden shows. Gardening Naturally (Elliott Coleman) was one of my favorites. I'm really disappointed it's not on anymore. Or maybe somebody knows--are there reruns showing anywhere?

Gami
 
  #6  
Old 06-18-02, 03:00 PM
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Location: Maryland zone 7
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Yes, Gami, I know what you mean. I just loved 'Gardening Naturally'. Should I tell you that I taped them all? I haven't seen any reruns, but others have asked about it at The Garden Web as well.

Another that I liked was from Iowa called 'The Perennial Gardener' and was on PBS. My other favorite is 'The Gardener's Diary' with Erica Glasner. I'm always sad when it ends. She has some very interesting people on the show and always mentions the Latin names of plants.

Newt
 
  #7  
Old 06-18-02, 05:14 PM
Gami
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Hi Newt,

The Gardener's Diary is also one of my favorites. Right now they have some new episodes, or at least quite a few I haven't seen. The Gardener's Journal is mostly reruns. At first I couldn't figure out why they had them on at 3:00 CST. That's normally when you're working outside. Then it started to get hot. Now it makes sense.

I've been trying to catch a gardening show on BBC that was recommended, but I'm not very successful in finding it. I can't remember the name of it.

Yes, I can believe you taped all the shows. I wish I would have. I've checked out some of his books from the library.

I tape some segments if they have flowerbeds or something else of interest that I'd like to try. Now to label what's on them.

Gami
 
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