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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:30 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:45 am
Posts: 92
Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
1) Howard answered my question yesterday on his show regarding the pruning of butterfly bushes. But when I went to prune, I found oodles of birds in them, using the limbs as resting places and the bottom as shelter. Now I ask you, how can I prune them? The same goes for my rose bushes. They've never been pruned. What will happen if I don't prune butterfly bushes and rose bushes? I really don't care how they look in my garden (they are in my back yard any way), and would just as soon have them spill over onto the walkways.

2) I bought few bags of cedar mulch and put it over several of my newly planted shrubs. Now I find I can't afford to buy any more cedar mulch right now, so instead I used some mulched leaves/grasses that a friend gave me. He's neither organic nor does he use any chemicals. Some of the clippings were given to me last year and had already begun to turn into compost, which I put out also. Are these just as good as the cedar mulch? I just know that in Texas the night air can suddenly turn cold, and I want to protect the roots of my plants -new and old.

3) After putting down the cedar mulch in a bed where I had newly planted shrubs, I noticed a weed had begun to grown about a week later. Now the bed is covered with this weed. It's a very simple one actually; two green leaves horizontal to each other on a white stem (as long as it needs to be to push out of the mulch and still stay in the ground). I decided, after trying to stay ahead of the growth & pull them out, to just let nature take its course & hopefully the cold weather will take care of them. Plus, hopefully they'll add more warmth to the mulch that's there. What say ye?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:42 am 
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:33 pm
Posts: 829
Location: Dallas,TX
You're doing just fine. You don't really have to prune butterfly bushes or roses except when there is a situation where they will suffer if you don't. Just wait and if you need to trim them later, we have several months of dormant time for you to decide.

Roses do better if they're pruned properly but lots of people overdo and end up with gangly bushes. Roses also should be pruned at different times of the year depending on the type they are. I didn't get to listen to the show last week but I'm betting Howard covered that.

Cedar mulch has the benefit of being insect repellant, but mulching with partially composted material is just fine. You may have had the little plants pop up from seeds that were already there, just waiting for the right conditions to germinate. The warm rich compost was just the right thing. :D I'm betting you're right about the cold weather taking care of them for you, but they could also go dormant and come back in the spring. It's a gamble, but the stakes aren't that high.

Get a copy of Malcolm Beck's "Lessons in Nature" and read it through. You'll relax about your approach to gardening in general, laugh a lot, and learn a lot.
Happy Autumn!
Kathe


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:45 am
Posts: 92
Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
Thanks for your reply! I thoroughly enjoyed my gardening activities Sunday - the temperatures were such that I opened all my windows (can't open doors; the mousies might come in!) and enjoyed the cool breezes coming in through the windows and listening to all the birds who found great joy in going through the newly spread mulched leaves/grass clippings I had thrown out! Sounded like a bird convention! And I had to refill my bird feeders 3 times! Life was wonderful.

I found out about cedar mulch being a pest deterrent as well as a weed deterrent. I put down over an inch of cedar mulch in my vegetable garden and had not pests nor weeds the entire growing season. Still don't, even though everything is now gone except the okra and bell peppers. But that cedar mulch sure let that one particular weed come up! Hopefully the really cold weather will do it in. If not, then perhaps I'll just use it as a mulch type also.

Thanks again for your reply. I find I love being in my backyard more than being anywhere else. It's calming, full of nature, and I feel more at peace there. It's nice.


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 Post subject: Green is GOOD
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 10:03 am 
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:33 pm
Posts: 829
Location: Dallas,TX
I'm right there with ya, sister. My kids all know what I mean when I say I need some "green therapy". Most of the time, they join me!
Kathe


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 Post subject: Cedar Mulch
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 7:56 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 6:00 pm
Posts: 219
Location: Hubbard,TEXAS
Does anyone know where to buy cedar mulch in quantity? It's getting hard to find even in bags. Thanks.

Pat Akin


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 Post subject: Cedar Mulch
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:45 am
Posts: 92
Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
I don't know about buying cedar mulch in quantity, but I get my bags of cedar mulch from Marshall Grain in Ft. Worth, TX. They always seem to have plenty. You might try Silver Creek for the bulk mulch; I just don't know for sure.


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