Tag: home gardening

Easy Care Plants – Solomon’s Seal

Second only to rhododendrons, Solomon’s Seal is a favorite of Mark’s. I’m not sure where he first learned about them, but suddenly he *had* to find some for the shade garden at our prior house.

Rabbit Trail: After we’d gardened for a few years at that fixer-upper, our property tax assessment increased dramatically. I appealed it with the City, because most of the real improvements were done away from the prying eyes of the assessor. When they returned the final determination, she said the increase was due to the “park-like setting” of our side yard. All that expense and back-breaking labor, just so we could pay higher taxes!
Oh, well. We enjoyed the park.

When we moved to Arthurized Home, we brought about 8 divisions with us. Those transplants have multiplied to become hundreds, and we’ve divided them into several beds throughout our property. Division is best done in spring or fall, leaving several rhizomes on each piece. If you want value for money, these are a sure thing.

There are several different varieties of this native plant. Ours is variegated fragrant Solomon’s Seal and grows to about two feet tall. I love the painterly brush strokes on the leaf tips!

Solomon’s Seal is a relative of lily-of-the-valley; and in the spring, has similar white bell-shaped blooms along the stem. There is no need to deadhead the blooms. They dry and fall off the plant on their own.

Once established, this woodland plant is practically maintenance free. Solomon’s Seal likes rich soil in moist shade, but will tolerate a little sun in cooler climes. Planted in full sun, they will burn, like hosta. You can amend poor soil with compost, and use mulch or leaf litter to insulate the plants while they take root. These plants are drought tolerant once established, and as an added bonus, deer resistant. *insert Madea shouting Hallelujer!*

They’re very hardy and don’t seem to be susceptible to pests or fungal disease. We’ve heard that slug like ’em, but haven’t seen any evidence of that in our garden. Solomon’s Seal will even grow at the base of our oak tree where little else will.

See the brown leaves below?

Those mean that summer is winding down and cooler temps are on the way. Sad, I know.

Over the winter, Solomon’s Seal dies back all the way to the ground. But don’t you worry your pretty little head about that. He’ll be back in the spring, poking his pointy noggin out of the ground before you know it!

Solomon’s Seal make attractive container plants on shady porches and patios.

For more reading on Solomon’s Seal:
https://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-dictionary/perennial/solomons-seal/

Shop the post: Solomon’s Seal
My favorite gardening gloves: Mud Gloves

If you enjoy the content on Arthurized Home, select “follow” to receive a notification when new posts are published. To comment, select “leave a comment”. To socialize by email, send to arthurized dot home at gmail dot com.

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

A Gardening Public Service Announcement

Last year we noticed small patches of a short, feathery plant pop up on our property. Having no idea what it was, we decided to wait until spring to see if it flowered. We’ve had several pleasant surprises in the yard by taking a wait-and-see approach.

Bad idea.

Spectacularly so.

This year, easily 20% of our property is covered in this grass. It’s running amok throughout the yard, but especially in woodland areas. It’s not persnickety about growing conditions though, and proving that by boldly marching out into the gravel driveway. So far, we’ve found it in every planting bed except the herb garden.

Thanks to a Facebook post by the Virginia Native Plant Society, we now have an ID of our little scourge. It’s Japanese Stiltgrass, and it seems to have no redeeming qualities. This grass is incredibly invasive, chokes out native plants, and offers no benefit to wildlife. This jerk plant actually changes the chemistry of the soil, stunting the growth of competing plants!

Wut.

The dried plant first came to the U.S. as packing material one hundred years ago. In Tennessee, the seed found it’s way into the soil, and spread from there. Japanese Stiltgrass can be found as far north as New York, south to Florida, west to the Mississippi River and even into Texas.

One plant can produce up to 1,000 seeds. Because the seed travels by water, animals, humans, and even vehicles, they spread like wildfire. Speaking of which, the grass dies back in the winter and blankets the forest floor with a dense mat of dry stems and leaves; fuel for forest fires.

Small patches are easy to pull by hand; use a weed-eater or mower for large sections of this mess. It’s best to mow or weed-eat in August or early September before the grass flowers and sets seeds. This is the perfect time of year to work on getting rid of it. Cut the plant all the way to the ground if possible. We haven’t gone the grass-selective herbicide route just yet, but we will if mowing doesn’t control this invasion.

We still have work to do on the hill above the rhododendrons.

For more reading on Japanese Stiltgrass, go here: http://blueridgeprism.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Japanese-Stiltgrass-SAR-5-27-17-VDOF-w-BOX-FINAL.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1fGYAQPSLRRIZxFBzKNfNGlBcBFMBzLXWeKYWgVKdvCw_T1HMbSDv72f4

https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/japanese-stiltgrass-identification-and-management

We’ll have to remain vigilant for years until we are sure it’s all gone. If that doesn’t work, we’re getting a goat. They seem to be the only animals that will eat it.

If you enjoy the content on Arthurized Home, select “follow” to receive a notification when new posts are published. To comment, select “leave a comment”. To socialize by email, send to arthurized dot home at gmail dot com.

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Easy Care Plants – Coleus

In an effort to stretch my gardening dollar as far as possible, I like to plant easy care perennials; those garden work-horses that will return year after year.

Also, I hate planting annuals. I have no patience for a plant that will grow for one year and then die off. Kiss it goodbye. I’d rather save the time and effort, plant the $50 bill and be done with it. (Our porch is in deep shade and I make an exception for annuals there.) However….

Coleus are tender perennials so they behave like annuals in Virginia. After one summer in the sunshine, they are done. Sadly, I can’t overwinter them because our house has few sunny windows in which to grow plants. (And I need those windows for blog photography!) These plants are showy and worth every penny. They are ridiculously simple to care for. Plunk them in the ground in a sunny spot, water regularly and admire them.
It’s just that easy!

While my taste in flowers tends toward ‘cottage garden’; these beauties are a punch of abstract art. The Andy Warhol of perennials, if you will. They provide edgy contrast to my restrained daisies and lavender. Give them a try! I think you’ll like them!

For more reading on coleus, go here:
https://www.finegardening.com/article/sizing-up-coleus
I’ll have to hunt down that ‘Candy Store’ variety. Those colors are amazing!

If you enjoy the content on Arthurized Home, select “follow” to receive a notification when new posts are published. To comment, select “leave a comment”. To socialize by email, send to arthurized dot home at gmail dot com.

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Succession Planting Herbs

Succession planting is simply sowing seeds at intervals so that you have a constant supply of produce. In years past, I’ve made halfhearted attempts at succession planting our gardens. I’ve never made a planting schedule and stuck to it. This year I’m sowing seeds at two week intervals, so that we can enjoy our favorite herbs throughout the growing season.

Purple Basil. But you could’ve guessed that!

I’ve planted cilantro, flat leaf Italian parsley and three varieties of basil; lime, purple and Thai. These are all familiar plants except the lime and Thai basil. I try to plant about a dozen seeds each time, because we tend to pick small batches.

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

My method isn’t very organized but it seems to be working. Every two weeks I wander out to the garden, seeds in hand, and find a little patch of soil near the previous plantings. I pull the mulch back with a hand rake and loosen up the surface of the amended soil underneath. After carefully placing the seeds over the loosened soil, I sprinkle bagged garden soil over them to the recommended planting depth. Basil takes 1/8″ of soil and the parsley and cilantro require 1/4″ of soil covering.

Cilantro

Once I’ve pressed the new soil down lightly; I water the planting area, taking care not to wash the seeds away. Unless we get a nice, overnight rain shower, I water every morning. If the weather is unseasonably hot or dry, my planting beds get a second drink of water in the early afternoon. After the seedlings sprout and the plants are established, I water according to the directions on the seed packet.

Just look at those babies in circle two!


I hope you will give this project a try. If you do, I’d love to hear from you! Comment here or email me at arthurized dot home at gmail dot com.

Lime Basil

If you enjoy the content on Arthurized Home, select “follow” to receive a notification when new posts are published. To comment, select “leave a comment”. To socialize by email, send to arthurized dot home at gmail dot com.

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Amending Garden Soil

Judging by the heavy, clay soil and the copious amounts of debris here, this area of our property has never been gardened. Our first job is to improve the soil by adding rich, new garden soil and compost.

Materials List:

  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow or heavy, plastic tarp
  • Gloves – I prefer leather gloves for this job
  • Strong Back
  • Soil Amendments (depending on your garden’s needs – new garden soil, compost, manure, sand, peat, etc.)

Here’s how to amend the soil:
Dig the first row about 12″ deep (or the depth of a shovel head), and place the soil in a wheel barrow, or on a heavy, plastic tarp. Pour the soil amendments down into the row.

As you dig the second row, shovel the soil from row two over row one and mix it in. You’ve just finished amending row one.

Now, pour soil amendments along your newly dug row two.

Row Three: Dig and place soil amendments over row two, mixing as you did before.

Rows 4 – Last: Repeat the above process until you reach the final garden row. Once you have added the amendments to the last row, pour the soil from row one on top and mix it in.

Rake the bed smooth and pick up any rocks or clumps of soil. Your garden is ready for planting!

If you enjoy the content on Arthurized Home, select “follow” to receive a notification when new posts are published. To comment, select “leave a comment”. To socialize by email, send to arthurized dot home at gmail dot com.

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.