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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ten Cans of Gardening

Every now and then it's fun to go back and look up the statistics from The Home Garden to see what people are looking for and eventually wind up here. Sometimes the search terms are funny but hopefully the results lead the searcher to great info. So here are ten search terms that showed up that all began with the word: Can. And my responses!

  1. Can I divide a heavenly bamboo? Yes you can! I'm trying not to sound like Bob the Builder here but heavenly bamboo spreads very easily by rhizomes just under the surface of the soil. By digging up the area around the sprout in question you can find the root system and snip it off to make more plants. It's an easy way to propagate Nandina domestica. This probably won't work as well for the new cultivars of Nandina since they seem to be much more tame the the old fashioned Heavenly Bamboo.  
  2. Can I divide my variegated liriope? Again, yes you can! Liriope dived very easily like daylilies. Just dig up the clump, wash off the roots so you can clearly see the root system, then gently pull them apart. More often than not I skip the clean off the roots part.
  3. Can I paint a raised vegetable garden bed? Maybe. If the paint is low VOC and you stick to the outside areas. Many paints contain toxic chemicals that could leach into the soil. It's better to be safe than sorry and find a food safe preservative to coat the wood or got with a naturally rot resistant wood like cedar or redwood. Butcher block preservatives should work fine. 
  4. Can you grow 'Homestead Purple' verbena from a clipping and will it take root? Most definitely! I propagate 'Homestead Purple' verbena every year because you never know how well it will come back after a cold winter. It's a good idea to make copies of your plants in various garden microclimates to insure you don't have to repurchase the plant. Verbena will root easily with internodal or nodal stem cuttings. Rooting hormone isn't necessary but will speed up the process!
  5. Can I plant a Bradford pear tree in Illinois? Yes, but why would you want to? Pick an alternative like the Service berry if it works in your zone or find a better behaved pear try like the Cleveland. Avoid the Bradford!
  6. Can I plant my dappled willow in March? Yes! Err... maybe it depends where you are. Here in Tennessee is a yes but in other places you may not be able to dig in the frozen ground. In most cases your dappled willow will be fine if planted in March.
  7. Can I prune my crepe myrtle in spring? Yes! Prune your crape myrtle now so that you don't cut off the new blooms when they form. Crape myrtles haven't emerged from dormancy yet (at least here) and typically do so later than other trees. They bloom on new wood so if you prune now you'll be sure to have blooms this summer. Just don't perform crape murder!
  8. Can I put arborvitaes in a pot? Yes but you'll need to move them one day. Pick a large enough pot that the arborvitae will have plenty of room for roots. Also be sure to keep it well watered as pots dry out fast. And do remember to put holes in the pot!
  9. Can I start shallot seeds inside? Yes I started shallots from seed and need to start the hardening off process outdoors this week.
  10. Can Japanese willows root in water? Definitely! It's easy and fun to watch the roots grow. You can skip this step by rooting them directly in soil and keeping them watered. They are beautiful plants and it's easy to make more willows!

I hope you enjoyed these ten cans. Now I just need to find and open a can of worms - for the vegetable garden beds of course!

2 comments :

  1. Here in California, my crape myrtle bonsai has been out of dormancy for a week, and is covered with shiny green leaves.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was thinking a different kind of cans but cute-and helpful.

    ReplyDelete

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