layering in bulbs with other plants

Travis O
Thu, 21 May 2015 05:48:33 PDT

Where are the pictures? Sounds nice!

I think Ian and Maggie Young probably have the same pests and weed problems, but do not go out of their way to show them. I do remember at least one bulb log which mentioned weeds, and pulling them when they are young. Also, after decades of weeding, they probably see less weeds than you or I. But I cant really speak for them, maybe Maggie will chime in?

In my own garden, the areas and beds in which I grow plants INTENTIONALLY are the only places without weeds! Slugs are everywhere, a fact of life. Most of my garden beds are a variation of a raised bed, new soil/compost/sand layered with cardboard and left to sit over around six months before planting. The cardboard suppresses anything under it (except quick grass which MUST be dug and the remaining soil sifted for remaining root fragments) so mature weeds do not appear in new beds. The soil is friable, so seedlings pull easily. I then mulch around beds, normally with leaves and pine needles that fall in Autumn (they are what's available), this keeps weeds off the paths around beds. I never use herbicides (except RARE occasions for blackberry and poison oak) but instead pull seedlings when I see them. This is ongoing, letting weeds mature makes it much more difficult to remove them later, and if they set seed it's all over...

I live in a somewhat dry climate compared to the Coast, or west of the Cascades. Slugs are the worst invertebrate pests here, being particularly abundant this year since they were able to keep "doing their thing" throughout the mild winter. My two methods of control are 1.) hand picking when I see them, then killing them and 2.) slug pellets. There are now three types of slug pellets on the market. One is a chemical toxin, starts with an "m" ("Slug and Snail DEATH", I think). The other two are safe around pets and children, containing either iron phosphate or sodium ferric (one of which is called "Slug and Snail KILLER"), both of these work wonderfully if applied every few weeks, or applied in quantity when a slug "outbreak" occurs (like when you find 20 baby slugs decimating your Crocus leaves). The safer pellet types (iron phosphate and sodium ferric) are perfectly safe for plants, and continue to work after it rains, while the toxic chemical type ("Slug DEATH", not to be c
 onfused with "Slug KILLER") is said to be worthless after rain.

After slugs, it's the deer and rodents (moles, gophers, tree squirrels, ground squirrels) that are the worst. Also, they are highly attracted to the comparatively moist lush garden beds, as opposed to the dry dead native landscape, especially in Summer.

But I'm still learning, and I think I'll always have more to learn since nature always throws curveballs when you feel most secure.

Sorry for the lengthy response, does that help, Kathleen?

Travis Owen
Rogue River, OR

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