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Growing Plants

3/7/2014 11:53AM

I love having plants around. Besides being pretty, they're also handy for clearing the air, and helping me feel better about myself. I look at a plant, and say “This was a lot smaller when I got it, and with my help, it's thriving.” Which is why it's also such a big disappointment when they die.


Not every plant death is my fault though, and while I know the 'green thumb' type people don't mean to rub it in, it's kind of annoying when they can brag about keeping anything alive. I'm sure a lot of other people feel the same way; you don't want advice from someone who does it perfectly first time out, you want advice from someone who has made the same mistakes, or at least as many as you have, and can understand, and give advice from an equal footing.


I've done a variety of different types of gardening and dealing with different types of plants. I'd have to say I did enjoy working in my mother's vegetable garden. It was awesome later in the year, having so many fresh veggies I helped to grow. Not so much the ones I didn't like and had to eat anyways, though, heh. I've tried doing vegetables here, but it hasn't worked all that well. I'll have to get pictures of some of them in a few months, when things are growing.


Planting bushes and trees is rewarding, more so when you can tell how much they've grown since you first did so. I enjoy seeing the new growth on plants, and wondering how big they'll eventually get.


I prefer perennials to annuals because they're often easier to take care of, you don't have to rebuy them, depending on the type at any rate, and I'd much rather just have some green leaves then a bare patch of dirt that I have to weed. Although I will say that I like things like tulips, daffodils, and irises for edging, in a location that you don't notice them being gone when they're in hibernation. My mother used to have one side of the backyard edged with irises, and I thought it looked great.


I've always thought the flowering, trailing vine type plants on the side of a house would look amazing, but I've also heard it's really good for letting pests in, and I'd rather not have birds building a nest on the other side of the wall right next to the head of my bed again.


I'll leave off with some random facts I've found out about plants I would feel would be very helpful for people to know:


1. Morning glory may be pretty, but it grows like crazy, and if you leave ANY piece of root longer then a half inch, it will grow back. It's easy enough to pull up, if you do it slowly. For the love of anything, DON'T till or mow it. Not unless you want your lawn to become morning glory.


2. Make sure to convince your neighbors not to plant the super growing blackberries or raspberries. Sure, they taste awesome, and if you keep up the maintenance, they're not TOO hard to keep under control. But if they put it off for ONE year, you're going to spend the rest of eternity cleaning it up yourself. Not to mention the birds that will eat it and poop the seeds in YOUR yard.


3. Plants that attract birds? Great. Plants that attract birds who start singing at four in the morning right outside your window? Not so great.


4. NEVER. EVER. Assume a plant planted in an outside container will stay there, if it's a fast grower. My father bought a house, where someone put a plastic tub in the lawn and had bamboo in it. The bamboo managed to BREAK the plastic, and started to get into the yard. Tree roots are known to be able to break CONCRETE.


5. Do weeding as soon as you see anything sprout. The earlier you rip those dandelions up, the less chance they have of making more.