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Old 05-08-2011, 02:11 AM
Location: rain city
2,957 posts, read 12,725,619 times
Reputation: 4973


If your garden plants are sick, dying, failing to thrive, and nothing but an eyesore....

There are a few easy diagnoses:

Poor garden soil preparation
Wrong plant in the wrong place
Wrong plant for the climate

Just because Lowe's or Home Depot has a parking lot full of something or other doesn't mean if you take it home and plop it in your yard, planting it is a good idea.

Lowe's, Home Depot, Walmart will sell you anything that will make them money. The fact that they have it for sale in your neighborhood does not indicate in any way, shape, or form that any given plant is suited for your area. It only means that the wholesalers they contract with, have these particular plants available at this particular time.

There are some easy ways to create nice landscapes:

1. Planning-- what do you want to create?
2. Preparation--the area to be planted needs to be ready and nicely prepared IN ADVANCE of the actual planting.
3. Climate and place--plant things that are well suited to your climactic area, normal rainfall, and soils. Plants which are poorly suited to these conditions will fail to thrive and deteriorate, much to your disappointment (and considerable expense).

If you have done all these things; chosen plants suited to your area, prepared the condition well, cared for the plants nicely--and they still look like crap? Blah, pull out the renegades and throw them away. Chalk it up to experience and find something new. Try again.

Sick, ugly, suffering plants deserve to be thrown away. Have no fear--you can do it! Five dollars! For five dollars you can replace an ugly plant that has done nothing for years.

Courage people! You_are_in_control. It is your property and you are free to toss ugly uncooperative greenery and replace them with something new.

Stop punishing yourselves. Stop being guilty. You're not a failure, the plant is. Get rid of the offending plant and try again. Success will come with practice and knowledge.

Last edited by azoria; 05-08-2011 at 02:22 AM..
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Old 05-08-2011, 03:20 AM
Location: Tampa bay
1,014 posts, read 1,564,915 times
Reputation: 1371
what a great post! oh so true!

I constantly see people buying (and me included) plants and flowers from Lowes and thinking they will do good in their yard because they look pretty in a container that just got brought in from a perfectly maintained greenhouse.

I get home and plant it and to discover in a few weeks it is ready to dig up and throw out They will let you return it but I never do, I actually forget if I bought it from (like anyone has money to throw away)

I also get a kick out of HSN how they have all the beautiful planys for sale and of course people want them in their yard! The pitch they give is like you can also have this grow in your yard! They do not even give the zone areas!

I live in Florida sandy, dry soil...I have a lot of luck with flowers for the most part but then I put in a lot of work and research.

I also have flowers that do not do good for me, I have learned to stay away from them after many failures.

Again great post OP

Happy Gardening!
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Old 05-08-2011, 05:09 AM
Location: NE Florida
17,833 posts, read 33,116,442 times
Reputation: 43378
Terrific posts !!
At the extension office here we "preach" the phrase
"Right plant right place"

I always recommend to folks before they start planting to find out how much sun/shade the area gets before plant shopping.
If the info tag on the plant says shade/sun it probably would be happier in a spot that gets only a couple hours of morning sun

I also recommend that folks that are just starting out shop at smaller local nurseries. Most times the plant material is geared to the area

Another great idea is to look around your neighborhood see what others are growing well

Gardening is a "continuing education" experience
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Old 05-08-2011, 05:16 AM
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 31,083,378 times
Reputation: 42988
Originally Posted by KwaK View Post
Terrific posts !!
At the extension office here we "preach" the phrase
"Right plant right place"
Also, right time. Here in the mid Atlantic they recommend you wait until Mother's Day to plant tender annuals. It's easy to remember it that way. They even try to play up the idea of making it part of your Mothers Day tradition. Yet every year, what happens? The stores start selling annuals in early April and fools plant up their yards, only to see an end of the season frost come along and kill off half the flowers.
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:14 PM
Location: Iowa
14,322 posts, read 14,618,819 times
Reputation: 13763
Great posts! I don't plant annuals until the very end of May (NE Wisconsin)! If I'm buying plants (not too many, I'm into perennials) I really pay attention to how the store has them set up. Sometimes they have them outside in late April/early May and they get beat up with winds/cold/frost, etc.! I try to wait.

If I do decide to buy perennials, I watch the paper and buy them privately. Many people around here sell them, half the price as big box stores and healthier plants already used to Wisconsin weather!
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