Gardening Advice

  1. Okay, so I'm living in my first house, where I actually have a yard that I can plant stuff in. Trouble is, I've never planted plants into the ground, I've always had apartments and just planted in containers. Also, the house we moved into has tons of hostas that are ridiculously overgrown and bushy and they are all over!

    Now, in order to thin these hostas out, do I just rip out some of 'em, or is there more to it than that? And as far as planting goes, what are some good annuals that I can plant and be pretty sure I won't kill? Not quite sure what I'm doing with the yard yet, so I'm gonna stay away from perennials this year.

    Basically, I know nothing about gardening- need some advice from seasoned gardeners out there! Thanks!
  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   gwenith
    I beleive in ecological gardening - let everything go back to native vegetation and feed whatever turns up.
  4. by   colleen10
    Hi Rachel,

    I'm really into gardening. As far as the hostas go it depends on what you want to do with all your extras. You can seperate one large hosta plant into many smaller plants (divide it) and re-plant them or you can just dig up all your hosta and throw away the ones you don't need, then re-plant the ones you keep and space them out from each other.

    If you are going to seperate/divide individual plants I would advise you wait til Fall when they die back or next spring when they are just starting to emerge. That's the best time to divide plants. If you were to divide individual plants now you will break and damage the leaves in the process and when you trans-plant them they won't look very nice.

    Hosta are somewhat compact so when you dig them out you probably won't have too much of a problem. But, they are very tough to cut in half or quarters. I have known people that use butcher knives to do and they still have trouble.

    Hosta are also very hardy plants. Since it's early spring and wet if you were to transplant / re-plant them now they would probably fair well. However, later in the summer they may not do so good unless you can spend the time to make sure they get watered well.

    Also, Hosta do not have to be divided until you notice a "fairy ring" which is a ring towards the center of the plant that is bare, no leaves are growing. That's when it is necessary to divide the plant for it's own good. But, feel free to divide the plants whenever you want based on your aesthetic preference. ie. too big, too many, etc.

    As for annuals, etc. just go to your local garden center and ask what they think is easy to maintain and sturdy. Sometimes it takes some playing around with various plants to see what you like and don't like and what does well in specific areas of your yard.

    For the tough spots in my yard (the ones that gets tons of sunlight and little water and basically just cook in the hot summer sun) I go with varieties of plants that are native to my area and otherwise considered weeds like Day and Tiger Lilly, Daisy, Globe Thistle, etc.

    You can't go wrong with a plant that is native to where you live and grows just about anywhere.

    Good luck and happy gardening!


    Edited to add that although hosta have a compact round root ball they are extremely heavy! Mind your back and lift with your knees!
    Last edit by colleen10 on May 13, '03
  5. by   cwazycwissyRN
    What zone are you in? Here petunias provide blooms all summer and are a annual. Rose moss and geraniums do well too. I love hosta! I have to plant them in total shade here.
  6. by   BadBird
    I wish I could grow something, anything, I planted silk roses out front, they look beautiful. I actually had someone come to my door and ask where I got the beautiful roses, LOL! I say, plant silk, never water, never weed, don't worry it will always look nice.
  7. by   rachel h
    Thanks for the advice. I'm in Minnesota, so it's just starting to get warm enough to plant here.
  8. by   Flynurse
    I thank God that my fiance does all of the planting and planning...I do some maintaining.
  9. by   nimbex
    oh, look into some perrinials!!!! Annuals become a very big chore if you do mass planting of them every year.

    If you do perinials, they not only come back each year like your hostas' then you can split them in half every couple years for a cost effective gardening.

  10. by   hoolahan
    Impatient's, begonias, and petunias are nice, but they can't take full sun. Marigolds are pretty hardy. Tiger Lily's weather the storm too. I have no idea what a hosta is, but sounds like a nuisance!!

    How about some tulips, hyacynths, and crocus, and Iris bulbs to plant in the fall, so they will bloom in the spring.

    How about an azalea bush or rhododendron?
  11. by   rachel h
    So far I've planted one garden on the side of the house with celosa, dahlias and alyssum. And I put some moss roses in containers and some marigolds in a window box. In order to plant anymore I'll have to weed what I've nicknamed 'the enchanted forest' that is our back yard. We bought this house last fall and the yard hadn't been maintained for quite sometime. It may take me all summer just to get all the weeds out!
  12. by   nurs4kids
    I would also recommend more perenials than annuals. They are generally prettier and although the initial cost is a bit more, in two years, you have two plants or more for the price of one. Last year, I spent a small fortune on annuals. The good thing about that was that I had purchased some pathetic excuse for top soil, so nothing did good. This year, we dug out the beds and refilled with processed manure. Six yards of last year's clay out and six yards of the new manure the past two days. We are sore, to say the least . Tomorrow will be the fun day..we're going to purchase plants and begin planting. I'm planning on buying more perenials than annuals.
    Some of my favorite perennials:
    Blanket Flower
    Butterfly Weed
    Merigold (Inca)
    Hosta (however, it WILL one day take over the world!! )

    Fave annuals:

    Got this site from another thread here that has lots of valuable info..

    I found this site to be awesome..
    Last edit by nurs4kids on May 22, '03