July 12, 2017

Cheap Tricks and Silly Solutions

raspberry asiatic

When wicked winds bend your stems and critters gnaw new seedlings, do you finish what they started ... clip the tops or trash the plants, and move on?

cheap fixes
Wooden skewers, electrical tape, and floral tape.

Or do you break out some cheap tools and see if you can save the plants, the flowers, and the new growth?

cheap fixes applied

Sometimes it's worth applying a little tender loving care, right? And if you're lucky (and there's still enough life flowing through), you'll see this:

orange daylily

And this:

autumn beauty sunflower

And this:

cream asiatic

And this:

zowie zinnia

(Of course, deadheading an established plant and spent blooms are entirely different matters.)

41 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It seems silly to me at the time, but when I see a bud forming, I don't want to lose it. ;-)

      Delete
  2. I would likely have relegated the blooms to a vase or compost and never have thought to do an emergency repair - great tricks :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I do that, too. Unfortunately in the case of the lilies, the breaks were near the top. I guess I could have put it in a bud vase. The sunflower was a repair a while ago, before the buds even formed. I wanted that one to branch out and grow. Long story, but it worked (so far). :)

      Delete
  3. I might try to save a tall lily but usually I just snip them off. If there is a bud I put it into a vase and hope for the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, a bud vase is a good option, too. I seem to recall that at least one of the lilies was still pretty green when I taped it. But I do like a pretty fresh lily in a bud vase, too. :)

      Delete
  4. Heroic measures to save your blooms! I try sometimes but usually not with as much success and the stem ends up breaking. Thanks for the tricks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I'm finding that the floral tape works really well when you have several at a time you want to patch. We've had 60 mph winds several times lately, and I wanted to save some of the buds/blooms. :)

      Delete
  5. Glad you were able to salvage these beautiful blooms. Hope the weather calmed down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, thankfully we're in a calmer period now. I hope we're done with the 60 mph straight-line winds for the summer. Very scary.

      Delete
  6. I've never tried it but have a plant that could use some taping up. Thanks for the demonstration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But often it's worth a try. :)

      Delete
  7. Well, I don't have any lilies anymore (deer ate them up) so I don't need to worry about it! :D LOL!

    As for other plants that get bent sideways by storms (looking at you, purple coneflower), sometimes I'll cut them way back or pull them if they look pitiful or are blocking a path. Other times, I'll just let them grow sideways! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh gosh, sorry about the deer/lilies! Sometimes I let the buds/blooms/plants go, but sometimes I try a little heroic action. The Sunflower was the only one left out of a batch I grew from seeds. The critters ate the rest of them, and this one had nibblings. The electrical tape patched it up and now the Sunflower is large and branching and welcoming tons of pollinators. So, I guess it was worth it. :)

      Delete
  8. It has never occurred to me to try to repair damage like this. The leader on my Golden Shadows got broken in the storm this week. I clipped it off today before I read this. Otherwise I might have tried a little repair job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear, sorry about the storm damage! I'm so glad we're having a break from all that drama. Those winds were wicked, and it seemed like it was happening every other day for a while! Now I'm concerned about residual damage in our large Oaks. I think we'll have an arborist come out this fall and assess the health of the trees near the house.

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. They don't last long enough. I wish they would bloom all summer! :)

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. Yes, good way to describe it, Lucy. LOL.

      Delete
  11. I admire the TLC you offer to wounded plants, though I'm more of a "survival of the fittest" gardener myself. But it looks like your approach has many rewards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For me, it depends on the plant, my mood, and the conditions. If I have a huge patch of something, I'll often clip the damaged one and be done with it. But for tender new buds or shoots in limited numbers, I sometimes try to save them. The Sunflower was the only one left out of a batch I grew from seeds. The critters ate the rest of them, and this one had nibblings. The electrical tape patched it up and now the Sunflower is large and branching and welcoming tons of pollinators. So, I guess it was worth it. :)

      Delete
  12. Great tips. :-) We had a wind storm Wednesday night. My sunflowers got it. My husband knew I was down about it. He said he would help me stake them. We have them upright. We are hoping for the best.
    Carla

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I know. The wind storms have been awful lately! I'm glad we're getting a break now. Sorry about the Sunflowers! I hope the staking helps!

      Delete
  13. great example of TLC - only tall poppies should be cut down, not sunflowers or zinnies or daylilies (lol)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Eventually, most of them can be cut. But it's sad to see them bent over and struggling before they bloom.

      Delete
  14. What an excellent suggestion! I look forward to trying it out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The electrical tape is a little silly, I guess. But I had one sunflower left from several I started from seed. Some critters had chewed on the stems. I hated to miss out on their sunny, bright faces, so I saved one, and now it's tall and full of multiple blooms. I guess it was worth it. The floral tape works really well for smaller boo-boos. :)

      Delete
  15. Great idea. I call it a clever solution!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was worth a try and, at least in these cases, it worked ... and I had blooms I wouldn't have seen otherwise.

      Delete
  16. Well I have not tried your suggestions . . . (but I will!)
    Delphiniums challenge me the most . . .
    I have some skinny wire like poles that have come in handy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those supports are awesome, aren't they? I have some semi-circular supports that work well for floppy shrubs and larger patches of perennials. Delphiniums used to grow well in my garden, but not anymore, for some reason. They're beautiful!

      Delete
  17. The color of that first lily is very amazing for me, i love it even in dress. And yes, i guess every gardener always do those "cheap/chip tricks and silly solutions", and we are always creative in trying what will work, hehe. The style depends on the situation, and we normally succeed, or fail in a few!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, gardeners are a creative bunch. ;-) It's fun to try, anyway. I am not sure of the name of that first lily. Sadly, I don't have the names of my lilies--I planted them years ago. And I started this blog in part to make it easier to keep track of all the cultivar names as I add them. The straight species are a lot easier.

      Delete
  18. I would say it depends on my mood and the plant:) Your beautiful daylilies are definitely worth the effort!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree: If I have a large patch of established, blooming plants, I'll just clip off the broken piece and move on. The ones I showed here were either just getting established or preparing to bloom. Might as well try to allow them to bloom anyway, I figured. :)

      Delete
  19. Very nice! For me it depends on the plant. I have a big branch of shrub that split last year that I tied up with green plastic tape, and it's still going strong!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, same here. It depends on the plant, the stage of development, the point in the growing season, and other variables. Yay!: Sounds like you were successful with your fix!

      Delete
  20. You can add Plant Surgeon to your already impressive resumé.

    ReplyDelete
  21. You are so smart. And optimistic. I think visualizing success always helps.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by!

(Your comment might not appear right away. PlantPostings uses comment moderation, and we read every comment before we publish.)