Shall I cut back everything??

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by cindy, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. ThePlantAssassin

    ThePlantAssassin Gardener

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    Ive decided following several disease problems and many plants not looking their best that the problem my be my soil. Ive never improved/mulched with manure and as an over keen impatient newish gardener probably packed too many plants into my available space feeding occasionally with general purpose liquid feed. Im not happy with everything struggling. It doesn't give enough joy. The main beds such as they are contain the following and some are recently planted (penstemons/phlox/delphiniums) but already not looking fantastic except the odd one here and there.

    delphiniums (squillions), 3 varieties of penstemons, phlox (yes @Verdun I have a couple of those lol), 4 different varieties of campanulas and the cochleariiflora baby blue and pyramidis blue have lovely foliage but didn't flower at all, 2 varieties scabiosa, linum, platycodon, calla liliy, 4or 5 varieties hardy geraniums, lavender, clematis, honeysuckle, jasmine eerrr.....I think that's it. All else in pots or at back of border.
    Would it be a bad idea to write this year off and just cut it all back to the ground and cover with a mulch of 50/50 garden centre manure/multi purpose compost.
     
  2. Verdun

    Verdun Passionate gardener

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    You have lots of nice plants there Cindy that should only get better next year so, no, don’t write them off. They should give you colour for several weeks yet.
    Give yourself time to decide what to do.
    Autumn is the best time to mulch .....say October into November.
    You are right about giving plants space by the way so maybe consider that for next year :)
     
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    • pete

      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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      Sounds a bit like a case of slight impatience to me.:biggrin:

      Give things a chance, and as said see what happens next year.
       
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      • KFF

        KFF Total Gardener

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        I agree with @pete . Also don't forget a lot of plants take a year to settle in before they even think of flowering.
         
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        • Redwing

          Redwing Wild Gardener

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          Top dressing with manure is always a good idea; as @Verdun says, autumn is a good time.
           
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          • Nikolaos

            Nikolaos Super Gardener

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            Perhaps add some easy, relatively mature plants next year which do well at this time, Cindy? Perovskia, ice plants, japanese anemone? :smile:

            Nick
             
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            • daitheplant

              daitheplant Total Gardener

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              Cindy, feed the soil rather than the plants.
               
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              • Verdun

                Verdun Passionate gardener

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                Just look at the plants Cindy already has folks.....they are attractive plants and with patience and loving care will only improve. :)
                 
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                • Nikolaos

                  Nikolaos Super Gardener

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                  Frustration and impatience (which I am feeling a lot of too this Summer) are a reflection of having high standards and realising the potential of plants, which is a form of progress, despite how bad it feels at the time, I think... :smile:

                  Nick
                   
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                  • Mike Allen

                    Mike Allen Total Gardener

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                    Interesting thread. I think it is good for members to openly express their feelings whether joyously or with some kind of frustration.

                    Yes! it can be so heartbreaking when having admired a plant at the nursery or GC, coughed up some often over the top price for it. Get it home and plant it. Moreoften than not, we have bought on looks.

                    So we plant our new specimen. Here on this tiny island we are in many instaces very fortunate. Climatewise and geographical boundary lines, we appear ready to take on anything and every thing. Sadly things don't always work out. So what might go wrong? Many things. Location can be wrong. Soil conditions may be wrong, as I have recently attempted to help with pH values.

                    Then we must take into account the rapidly changing climate. Recently even world news, has reported that arable farm land is rapidly losing it's soil values. Perhaps from such reports we may dicern that soil borne elements are in fact being blown away. Evidnce of this was recently proven by the Sahara sand storm blasting us. So whatever way one looks at the situation. It's not always, my or your 's fault.

                    So Cindy & Co. Try and restrain yourselves. Look. We are almost at the end of August. Even now some woodland trees are begining to shut down. In our gardenes and on our allottments, we may be gathering in the harvest. Wowee! have you noticed the past few years. How time flys. So those plants that appear to have failed us. OK they may be dying back a bit fatser than expected. Don't panic.

                    Now perhaps contrary to general practice. We silently watch the withering and demise of the plants. The calender tells us we are in October. The plants are gradually going to sleep, sap and lifeblood is returning to the rootsock. The soil temperature is still warm, come next month, November. The scientific charts denote a suddenlowering of soil temperatures. Tricky time of the year.

                    So back to October. Were I being troubled by heartbreaks etc as our friends are having. I would set about, carefully lifting row by row, problem plants. Briefly standingthe aside and give the area a godd digging ove and digging in as much compost as possible. Replace the plants and coninue to repeat... Mulching I fear is so misunderstood by many gardeners.

                    Hope this helps.
                     
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                    • ThePlantAssassin

                      ThePlantAssassin Gardener

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                      I do confess that patience is not my middle name. I was thinking along the lines of because I have mildew, rust, black spot and some kind of fungus meaning my soil is pants and that I'd be doing a good thing to chop back, mulch with manure and suffer the loss of some blooms this year being that we are heading towards the end of August. I think I'll start doing it bit by bit next week working carefully around the plants that are good. I need to put some grit under my delphiniums in the hope of keeping some over winter. Thanks all.
                       
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                      • Verdun

                        Verdun Passionate gardener

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                        Every season is different Cindy....:)
                        Fungal problems rife one year, a plague of pests the next, a wet summer, a dry one, etc.
                        As I said, you don’t have bad plants there at all but do some reading up on what certain plants like and dislike; then your plants will grow better and resist disease and pest better.
                        Patience is not my middle name either..... very impetuous and gung ho at times but mother nature will not be rushed or forced.
                        No benefit from chopping anything back right now.....I’m expecting weeks yet of colour from my garden:)
                         
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