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Old 11-22-2011, 11:56 AM   #1
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Default Fall colors in a small garden

Even though my small garden suffered some destruction from the unexpected snow storm this past October I am finding some interesting color changes and combinations.

One surprise was the changing colors of a Comptonia in front of a red blueberry.
Another was the varied colors of the side garden with accents of blue from the self-seeded kale.

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Old 11-22-2011, 12:08 PM   #2
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Fantastic! Love the blue of the kale.
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Old 11-22-2011, 08:28 PM   #3
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Eye candy!
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Old 11-24-2011, 02:56 PM   #4
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Oh how funny.... I was sitting here thinking the Comptonia looked real similar to one of my favorites, the sweet fern UNTIL I looked it up and saw it actually WAS a sweetfern! I never knew it by its REAL name.

Pray tell...How in the world did you ever get one to grow.... I've tried pulling, digging runners, seeds and still haven't had any luck with them taking even though they grow well in the wild areas here
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:09 PM   #5
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Nice pictures. Perennials and grasses make for so very nice autumn color in the garden.

Hava, sweetferns takes many years before its own inhibitors will allow germination. Unless you have access to a specific natural acid bath used by the industry it is impossible to start from seed at home.

To take root sucker cuttings the window is narrow. Only before the leaves begin to emerge in late winter very early spring. By May 1st at the latest in your area.
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Old 11-24-2011, 11:43 PM   #6
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No wonder why I'm having such problems trying to transplant them from property to home. Thanks Gloria.
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:02 AM   #7
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Interesting information on the sweetfern, Gloria.
I'd like to try to move the root suckers and add 1 more Comptonia to the front so as soon as I get next years calender I'll make a note of the timing.

I did purchase mine from a NJ nursery in the Pine Barrens that has it growing wild on the untouched areas of the nursery.

It loves it in the almost pure sand at the side of the bluestone path and has grown to a 3' X 3' plant with runners 3' from the mother plant.

I planted 3 more in the front streetside garden 2 years ago but they are still small, only 1' tall. I'm hoping the combination of little bluestem and Comptonia will look wild enough for me but controlled enough for the town.
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Hava, sweetferns takes many years before its own inhibitors will allow germination. To take root sucker cuttings the window is narrow. Only before the leaves begin to emerge in late winter very early spring.
This week we're back up into the mid 40's after a week or two of 28 or so eve temp. Do you think moving some now while the ground is possibly workable yet would take while they're somewhat dormant?
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Old 11-25-2011, 09:37 PM   #9
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Go ahead and try as long as the sweetfern is fully dormant but early winter success rates are lower than those root suckers taken late February through April (depends on weather) so take several if there is a very large patch. Try 3 inch or less sucker stems with a section of root. You can always take a few again later. Best success rates are with small root suckers while fully dormant.
Leaf growth inhibits root growth.
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:12 AM   #10
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Gloria - thanks for that info on propagating sweetferns. I haven't had any success trying to get them started at my place either, even though they are common in my area. I'll give your method a try early next spring.
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