Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Wednesday Vignette, don't mulch the plants!

This Wednesday's vignette features a large Agave ovatiolia just a few blocks from my house. I throw a glance at it whenever I drive by, but finally had a chance to look at it up-close and personal the other night, when walking to dinner. I originally thought the smaller plant was another A. ovatifolia, but now I'm not so sure.

Post-winter the large plant has the same spots my big A. ovatifolia have, and overall it's quite healthy, despite growing on the north side of a tall home (see the post I wrote about discovering these Agaves here). I think the biggest problem is the mulch collecting in the bottom of the leaves and around the crown. People...don't mulch the plants!

Weather Diary, May 9: Hi 75, Low 48/ Precip 0

Wednesday Vignettes are hosted by Anna at Flutter & Hum. All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

26 comments:

  1. The remarkable thing is that they survived winter.
    If you were carrying a cordless blower on the way to dinner you could have done them a small favor.

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    1. If I had a cordless blower I would be a happy gardener. I started researching them but never did make the purchase. Do you have a favorite?

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    2. Oh, I was kind of joking. I rather loath the noise pollution they create, although what's a little noise when it comes to saving agave?

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  2. I wonder if some gardener blew the mulch in there. My own whale's tongue agave likes to collect leaves from the guava trees nearby - I sometimes have a devil of a time removing them without injury.

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    1. Like it was a "professional" rather than the homeowner/gardener? That seems likely.

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  3. Can you take along a can of compressed air next time you walk past, and give them a good blast? It's so worrisome for them to rot with all that around the base, especially after having survived this horrid winter.

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    1. That would be nice of me wouldn't it? First I'd need to buy a can of air...

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  4. Leaf blower or shop vac. to the rescue! There's something jarring about agaves growing out of bark mulch.

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  5. Now I don't feel so bad about neglectful mulching.

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  6. Ooh, you do NOT want to see my cactus bed right now if a little bark mulch upsets you. (Bark mulch would be a step up from what I have). The mulch between the leaves makes me crazy too!

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    1. But I bet you've got a blower?

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  7. I love Peter's idea of the shop vac. He suggested it for the fruits of the Styrax too. Stroke of genius, which I will take full advantage of next year. This year, I'm pulling those darn things out by the handful, as usual.

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    1. Me too, I HATE HATE HATE the Styrax.

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  8. Yikes! Makes me want to get a stick and flick off as much of the mulch as possible. All that organic matter promotes rotting and spots too, tsk...

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  9. I would only use stone mulch. We use fish hook pullers at The Ruth Bancroft Garden to get down between the Agave leaves, and to pull weeds out from the cacti. A great tool to have!

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    1. Fish hook pullers!!! Brian thank you! Something new to add to my tool box.

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  10. You can tell I've been out in my garden all day when I am not checking blogs until the evening. I learned that my verbena bonariensis never returned because I mulched the area where it was planted.

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    1. Yikes, seedlings didn't have enough light to grow?

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    2. Linda... I'm in Denver and for the last few years my vb's have readily reseeded in the dense bark pathway... enough that they wanted to become a shrub! I haven't planted a new vb in years!

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  11. Your readers have great ideas! Love the ingenuity. It IS a tricky problem--getting debris out from within and weeds out from under. Not that I keep my yuccas as clean as I should (😧😬) but here's the coolest thing I've used: for yuccas in reach of our shop with its air compressor tool, I've used use 50-foot+ air hose and the sharp spraying nozzle. For cleaning inside crevices between leaves, it's fantastic!!!

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