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Flowerbed maintenance

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by MikeG on October 12, 2005 05:59 AM
A few hopefully quick questions...

1 - Do I always need to remove mulch from the beds in the spring or does it need to be done only if I am planting seeds outside in the bed? I have heard that mulch can block the seedlings when not removed.

2 - Do I need to apply compost (or any other suitable medium) on top of the bed soil every year to keep it in good condition or is it not necessary? If I do do it, do I remove the mulch or just put it on top of the mulch?

3 - If I were to plant my seeds indoor late winter, is there any other bed maintenance /prep work I need to worry about before transplanting outside?
by duckie on October 12, 2005 09:55 AM
[wayey] Hi Mike,and welcome.

Our growing zones are very different,but some things are universal.

"Do I always need to remove mulch from the beds in the spring or does it need to be done only if I am planting seeds outside in the bed? I have heard that mulch can block the seedlings when not removed."

I use pine bark mulch in all of my flower beds.
I never remove it, unless I'm planting seeds.
(just a tip here)I keep the cats out of seed beds by breaking bamboo skewers in half,then put them in every couple of inches.

"Do I need to apply compost (or any other suitable medium) on top of the bed soil every year to keep it in good condition or is it not necessary? If I do do it, do I remove the mulch or just put it on top of the mulch?"

hmm.......good question.It depends on the condition of your soil.Also,the kind of plants you have.
I'm a big fan of Daylilies.I think they are one of toughest plants.And very pretty.Even when not in bloom.
If you need to add compost to your soil.Take the mulch off .Then put it right back on.(cats) [Roll Eyes]

"If I were to plant my seeds indoor late winter, is there any other bed maintenance /prep work I need to worry about before transplanting outside?"

It just depends.
If your soil is in good shape and the temps are right for the plants it should be fine.

[flower] duckie

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by tkhooper on October 15, 2005 10:01 AM
Hey Mike glad to see you are still asking questions. I've been reading up on the different flowers I have gotten and found some interesting differences between the different types of plants. For instance the gladiolus grow the new bulb on top of the old bulb so it is recommended that they get several inches of new compost at the end of their growing year every year and then when the leaves finish dying back they get a heafty dose of mulch on top of that. So that bed got a lot taller than many of my others. My portulaca are an annual sucullent and don't required any mulch or compost to do well so that bed received very little in the way of ammendments. And still another fun plant was the tomatoes. They can be planted in a trench and have compost added throughout the year on top of them and they love it. I was so suprised as you can imagine. While the roses need the mulch kept away from their stems so they don't get sick.

So as usual you'll have to do a bunch of research depending on the type of plants you are dealing with.

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by njoynit on October 19, 2005 10:13 PM
bein TX.I've grown in soil close to yours.it was grayishbrown hard stuff that needed chisled& amended.

I amend my beds,but do it durring our cooler season as things fade out.I mix in compost from by back corner that gets broke down all summer..toss in rabbitt poo(I can collect this from neighbor....already de compossed for about 5 yrs* and have access to horse manure) water in fish emolsion and have decided to add bonemeal to the hole starting this year.

I use pine straw mulch..its free.I drive around the woods see a pile stop scoop it up..pinetree tunnel is a good spot for collecting too,but more work with bigger truck...(but can haul more [teacher] ) I remove my mulch in the fall and it goes in the compost pile...the new rita created huge one 20x23x3.i then add new mulch.I remove my mulch in fall so is not bughideout for the winter.In spring I add some mushroom compost to bed on top of mulch and some gets worked in to a point depending on roots(96 cents a bag walmart) I turn my beds with a pitch fork& shovel by hand& my back will vouch for it.i'd really love a tiller...or even a friendly gardner who lived near by to even SHARE theirs!(I'd even fix drinks from the bar....if you'd tend bar after the 1st drink)

Seedlings.It would mean which seed it was and its starting.I start alot of them in milk jugs with just some compost stuck in um& line up like soldiers& tried a few raised beds back by shed and did cuttings of mums in one& seeds in the other.not all my plants are mulched or the bed might have 2 or 3 lants mulched.I mulch to conserve water.we get pretty hot here too.I add compost to replace the nutrients that grow the plants.A well fertilized grown plant will fare better in TX than one left to fend for itself.

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