A Few Gardening Questions

1.  Is there any good way to tell a weed from a perennial the last owners of your house may have left you or do you just have to kind of let it go and see what it becomes?

2.  My amazing gardening book says that raspberries don’t have berries in the first year.  But it also says that almost all nurseries sell year-old stock.  So, I have no idea if I’m going to get raspberries on the raspberry I just planted this year or not.  What do you think?

3.  Let us also consider daffodils.  As you know, the ones I got as a gift from the college professor are marvelously awesome and have worked beyond my wildest dreams.  But the other ones that came up?  Ugh.  That has not gone so great.  The one by the rose got a bunch of buds, but they never really bloomed and now the buds seem to just be drying up on the plant.  The ones by the north-west side of the house have one bloom each and in all the daffodils that run down the length of the driveway?  One bloom.  It’s a pretty incredible looking bloom, don’t get me wrong, but one bloom.

My hypothesis is that they’re just at the point where they need to be dug up and split, given some room to breathe and grow (I especially think this because the one lone bloom by the driveway is on a daffodil that appears to be a few inches off from the main clump).  But my question for you more experienced gardeners is this: when do I do that?  And, once I’ve dug them up, do I immediately space them out and replant them or do I wait to replant them in the fall?  This is made a little trickier by the fact that they are in with some other thing–I’m hoping lillies of some sort.  So, if I wait for everything to dry out, how can I dig up the daffodils without disturbing the lillies (or whatever they end up being?

4.  And have you ever seen anything so cute?  I have succumbed to the toe-nibbling cuteness and I’m not even there.

17 thoughts on “A Few Gardening Questions

  1. 1) Ha. Joel and I had this argument so many times at this house. He always insists that something is a weed because we haven’t planted it, and I insist that we must wait to see what it will become and whether we like it or find it useful.

  2. 3) Some daffodils do this. They aren’t really suited to the soil, the climate, whatever. They were planted in hope, and maybe even bloomed the first year, but don’t rebloom. In which case you have to get rid of them, or at least transplant them to another spot. The way you know that they need to be divided is that there is a huuuuuuge clump of stalks all coming up in the same place, with not as many blooms as you would expect.

    Now, you do know to take the dead blooms and seed-heads off the daffodils but NOT to cut or mow the stalks until they have gotten all yellow and dried out, don’t you? Because the stalks getting sunlight is what gets them blooming again the next year. (Hmmm, I wonder whether the stalks got cut too early last year because the house was on the market and the sellers didn’t want the yard to look messy? That would explain why they didn’t bloom this year.) It’s generally recommended to mark the spot where you want to dig up and divide daffodils, then leave them in the ground until the fall and divide them then.

  3. I agree with Rachel on the weed. TheBoyfriend™ always says that a weed is just a plant that is really really well suited to the local environment (hence why it is able to grow so well without cultivation). Even if it’s NOT something planted by the previous owner, it MIGHT be something beautiful nonetheless. Just see what it turns into and if it’s ugly, yank it then.

  4. 1. according to shaktoids, weeds are easier to pull up, but that doesn’t explain dandelions. depends on whether the plant is invasive or ugly to you.
    2. yes, expect to put up thousands of pints of raspberry jam this year and millions next year. (rolls eyes) You may get enough for your bowl of cereal if you strike while the butcher is sleeping.
    3. dig them up in the fall, make them a nicer place to rest (better dirt plus bone meal), and divide them if there’s a big clump. If they don’t come up next year, kill them.
    4. aaawwww.

  5. Okay, I am going to dig them up. I am afraid, but I am going to do it. I just need to find a way to mark where the clumps are so I can find them in the fall. Y’all make me a brave gardener.

  6. Autoegocrat, I honestly don’t know what to say. It’s like when I watched the press conference on Tuesday and was repeatedly asking the Butcher if these folks had any idea how foolish they looked.

  7. They’re “trying to protect the historic role of the First Lady”? Are they gonna censure Eleanor Roosevelt retroactively?

  8. Or rein in Dolly Madison from brokering politics at dinner parties? With asses that tight, I don’t know how they’re ever going to get their heads unstuck.

  9. Oh, I got it. They want to know just what Edith Wilson was up to back in the day, and figure out whether it was treasonous.

  10. 1. Wait and see. you can never tell and you might like that weed right where it is.

    2. If you get blooms, you’ll get berries. wait and see.

    3. Wait until the folliage starts to turn yellow and then dig them now if you want to. It can’t hurt or make them worse than they are. Chances are they’re planted too deep. Be prepared to dig up some lillies and then just replant them too. They’re tough enough. Feed all of your bulbs after they finish blooming with some bulb food fertilizer now and then again in the fall. And then you know, wait and see.

  11. 2. Most raspberries bear on two-year-old canes. While the foot or so of growth that was there when you bought the plant is probably in its second year, that’s not very much stem, and is unlikely to produce flowers this year. You’ll get several stems that grow several feet each this year, and they will bloom next year.

    However, there are some raspberries that are “everbearing”. This type bears on two-year-old growth in the summer, and then has a second crop on the new growth in the fall. If you have this kind, you may have raspberries this fall. This kind is also easier to prune: since it bears on new growth, many people just wack it down to the ground in the winter.

  12. Is there any good way to tell a weed from a perennial the last owners of your house may have left you or do you just have to kind of let it go and see what it becomes?

    That deep, B. Because you see, we, the human race, we are the garden. And people are plants, and sometimes you see somebody and you say, ‘he’s no good,’ like he’s a weed.

    But if you give that person time, sometimes you find that person is actually a beautiful flower, but simply one that bloomed late.

    And really, what is the difference between a weed and a flower? Do not dandelions bloom a bright sunny yellow? And yet are they not considered weeds.

    Deep, B. Very deep.

  13. Whichever kind you have, don’t forget to feed it. Dig in plenty of well-rotted manure a few weeks before planting.
    Raspberries need support eg a tree stake, hammered firmly into the ground.
    Cut canes down to 30cm above the soil.
    Water well and keep weeds down.
    In spring old canes can be cut back hard. Feed and mulch.
    Prune summer fruiting varieties in autumn, cut fruited canes to ground level and tie in the strongest new stems.
    Prune autumn fruiting varieties in mid-winter, cutting all stems to ground level.

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