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“GOD MADE RAINY DAYS SO GARDENERS COULD GET THE HOUSEWORK DONE”-unknown

Hosta collecting is  addicting!  I  received an email on Tuesday  that Carter’s Nursery in Athens was shutting down and  had hostas for $3 a gallon. Never mind that it is raining (I’ve already cleaned my house) I am on my way. So greedy as I was~~~I have been digging and planting all day.

One nice feature about hostas is they get tougher as they mature. I had a guy out last year to weed eat and he was standing in my hosta bed when I looked out. Thankfully they survived. Note to self-make sure you point out your plants from your weeds.

The garden value of hosta plants could be summed up in three words: reliable, useful and foliage. So, what about this shade thing? Shade conditions tend to induce fewer, but larger leaves. Mine are under trees but get filtered afternoon sun. Perfect. It may take some experimental moving before the ideal site is found in which the foliage size, color and variegation are at their best. Also, resist dividing your plants until they are 3 years old. Dividing after they have gotten quite large is they will lose support. Start dividing when the nubs are showing, usually mid March in Alabama.

I usually don’t do anything to my beds but this year I cleaned all the debris out and fertilized, then used a fine mulch. Goodness, I thought they will never come up but they have and are beautiful. I plan to start spraying weekly with Garden-Gro tomato plant food. Try it!

Display your hostas with a Designer’s eye. Plants should look good as a grouping, the colors, textures and forms could be used to compliment each other. And what about a fun element-a statue or something whimsical to add interest.

And finally~~slugs-ugh! It is true that killing slugs is like trying to get rid of wild onions-and I have plenty of both. I would not use slug bait (BAIT-get it?) I don’t want to attract any more. So, before attacking the problem, make sure that whatever method you use is environmentally safe (dogs unfortunately love this stuff) and we sure don’t want to poison our birds. Patience is the key-I look every morning and under flower pots-when I find them I just drop into a container of salt. I am also salting the rocks around my beds and other cracks they can hide in. You will never win the war but a few battles will be worth your time to slow them down.  Persistence-keep at it!

pictures to follow~~~if I’m lucky. 

“GOD MADE RAINY…

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