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Gardening philosophy (was OT-BIO : Kent Appleberry in Utah)

Thanks for the welcomes, gardening tips and philosophy. Right now I feel the tug of all the points made, and will no doubt combine some of them. I'm sure Griff is right that for the best bloom I'll need fertilizer, but I have in mind to see just how good the bloom will be without. My historics (OK, I have no idea what they are--they're just old tall beardeds and borders that I've had here for 7 or 8 years) do well without fertilizer, "well" meaning that they bloom enough to look good each year. But they were probably not bred in the conditions many newer cultivars are. I'll see how it goes and adjust as needed.

I'll use some of Neil's advice in setting things up, but I'll probably use something akin to Steve's approach in the long term. I already xeriscape that way. When my wife and I set up this garden about 9 years ago, we weren't very smart about planting for the conditions, so I ended up spending many hours watering plants that just don't belong here, and in the process giving other plants too much water, so that they got too tall too fast and flopped over in the wind. Now I water established plants two or three times a year, as needed, and I've let the rest go. Admittedly, putting out some fertilizer once a year as Griff suggests wouldn't be that labor intensive, but it runs against my overall philosophy of maximal self-sufficiency for the garden, at the moment. If I find my plan doesn't work, though, I'll no doubt give in and use the fertilizer. I'd be a terrible parent.


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