Steve

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Steve
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Downwind

Home & Garden > Plants
 

Plants

BENIGN NEGLECT of plants has never worked for me, although it seems to be workable for the absent owners of our town's vacant houses.  I walk past these empty residences and notice bushes thriving and lawns as green as mine.  Yet I never see anyone providing care.  No one waters or fertilizes at these places, yet it doesn't seem to matter.  At my house, it would matter; the plants would die.
Just down from the Post Office there is a delapidated trailer, the roof caved in, the siding peeling away, the insulation exposed.  In the nine years I've lived here, no one has ever shown up to maintain this ugly carcass yet, inexplicably, near the front door, a gangly rose bush blooms every summer.  Under my care, however, every rose bush I've tried to nurture has died save one which I am presently attempting to coax back to life.
There are many fruit trees, mostly apple, growing unattended on these vacant parcels.  Each year thousands of ignored pomes fall to the ground and rot, their intoxicating aroma filling the air.  In my tiny 4-tree mini-orchard, three of the four trees failed to even leaf out two years ago, despite my watering and fertilizing.  I eventually noticed new growth rising from around the tree bases and cut down the main, bare 6-year old trees, watching now as 4 or 5 new main stems grow up as replacements.  Time (irrespective of what I do) will tell.
Indiginous plants here have accustomed themselves to our dry conditions and thrive without regular rainfall.  I know when I bring in a new plant, I am taking a chance in this preposterously deficient soil.  I use additives and cross my fingers.  Some make it; some don't.  I keep trying, most recently with the tiny baby trees I got in the mail from Arbor Day Foundation.  Several look great; several seem unexcited about their new location; several aren't making it at all.  Presently, First Place is shared by one Washington hawthorne, one redbud, and one golden raintree.  The next challenge will be to mother hen them through the coming winter.  I have hope but, as Jean Kerr once said, "hope is the feeling you have that the feeling you have isn't permanent." 

posted on Aug 20, 2013 11:27 AM ()

Comments:

never mind you have plenty of mates in the same boat. some years back I purchased a shack , as it was in a windy location I reared 120 seedling trees I planted them --nursed them all through one summer but lost the lot , should have checked suitability first,,, back to the drawing board
comment by kevinshere on Aug 21, 2013 1:18 AM ()
The same thing applies to rose bushes when they come up from root stock.
It is better just to kill the root stock and start over. Be ruthless!
comment by elderjane on Aug 20, 2013 3:55 PM ()
Murphy must have written a law or two for gardeners.
comment by troutbend on Aug 20, 2013 1:54 PM ()
That's for sure!
reply by steeve on Aug 20, 2013 2:08 PM ()
Most fruiting trees are grafts. The root stock is a hardy type, not good for fruiting, and the graft is a good fruit type. Your tree with the lower shoots will be the root type, hardy as hell but with poor fruit. Same goes for grapevines.
comment by jondude on Aug 20, 2013 1:14 PM ()
Thanx for the info, Jon.
reply by steeve on Aug 20, 2013 2:08 PM ()
There was an old ugly bush on our patio and a neighbor cut it down level with the patio stones. Digging the roots out was major so he stopped with what he had done. hat bush rose like a phoenix -- as if it hadn't been leveled at all.
comment by tealstar on Aug 20, 2013 12:26 PM ()
I have rabbitbrush like that. I cut it down to the ground; it rises in the spring. If I want it out, I have to take it out by the roots. It happens to be blooming right now, but later on I will cut some out, as it covers my property.
reply by steeve on Aug 20, 2013 1:09 PM ()

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