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Re: Fertilizing/ "Organic" Gardening

Cidjohnson@aol.com wrote:
> <<  I use many chemicals at
>  many times of the year to "unsuccessfully" control dandylions and
>  clover. >>

Hi Cindy, it was my comment, John Lanier of Burnsville, NC; in the
mountains of western North Carolina, where we would never be able to
commit the sin of monoculture, because of the weeds alone!
> I can't tell whose comment this is, but my husband and  I got a good chuckle
> out of it.

I have given up on "total" control (costs too much), just spot control
of Dandylions and the clover around the edges of the beds since clover
spreads so rapidly if not controlled. I use round-up on the clover, and
a broadleaf weed killer on the dandylions.
> I've heard that in days gone by, clover was a common part of grass seed mixes
> because it provided the nitrogen that the grass needs, eliminating the
> necessity of adding nitrogen.  This sounds like a good practice to me, an
> amateur, so what's happened to it? 

I seem to recall the same thing. In any event I would never plant clover
on purpose since it literally takes over the lawn, but, in reality, I
don't have to worry about it, since it's already there. I don't have any
idea where the clover came from. The dandylions I can figure out. My
closest neighbor is about 150 yards on up the mountain from me, and the
winds blow from his direction. He, being a happier, more peaceful person
than I, and not bent on monoculture, never worried about controling
them. I think he was glad for the groundcover. I used to spend a lot of
time on my knees digging them out, but it got to be too much. There is
one good control measure here. That is, just don't cut the grass. The
only problem is it would get to be about 4' high, and then golden rods
would slowly take over (also from up the hill) and they would top out at
5' or 6'. A truly beautiful site in the late fall, however. I read
somewhere that a weed is a flower growing in the wrong place. This is
certainly true in the hosta bed across from our front porch. Earlier
this year it was literally taken over by "Money Plants" (wife wanted
them for dried flower arrangements in the winter) which had unbelievable
root systems, and Monarda. We planted the Monarda to attract butterflies
which are beautiful to watch from the porch. I managed to claw that
stuff out (they will kill hostas!), and this left a lot of open ground
which is now covered with Buddleia (sp?) seedlings; hundreds of them. Oh
yes, we planted the one Bubbleia Bush also for the butterflies. My wife
calls butterflies "flying flowers". They are quite beautiful, but we
really don't need hundreds of them. We will "weed" the Buddleia
seedlings out after the heavy rains predicted for later this week. I was
trying to practice monoculture with hostas, remember? We have finally
gotten rid (I think) of a beautiful flowering perennial my wife bought
seeds of in Scotland a few years ago. I have never seen anything like
this plant! In addition to being a true, practicing perennial, which
develops huge clumps it reseeds at an enormous rate. It has the power to
kill clumps of daylilies by shading them out. Since it thrives in sun
and shade, hostas were also threatened. I know there must be some of it
lurking someplace around the edges of the yard so we are constantly on

 (Sorry if this was covered in another
> post....I'm falling behind reading all these FASCINATING posts on fertilizing
> and soil)

Some have not enjoyed the posts on this subject Cindy. I'm glad that you
did. Good luck.  John Lanier, Burnsville, NC
> Cindy Johnson
> White Bear Lake, MN
> zone 4a
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