Sunday, March 28, 2010

Where Did All these Plants Come From?

Did you winter sow too many? Did you start more seedlings indoors than you can accomodate? Have your native shrubs thrown suckers all around the original plant?  Have the plants you put out two years ago tripled in size and are now crowded? Did all your cuttings take? Oh, look, here's a plant that you thought was desirable that doesn't coordinate well with others in your bed! What to do?

When you have excess plants for whatever reasons, what do you do with them?
  • Dig them and distribute to friends for their gardens? Lantana montevidensis crawled down the hill and out between Salmon Sheen daylilies. The rooted pieces have new growth are ready to dig and give to friends.
  • Sell them. Some gardeners find an outlet at private nurseries to grow plants for the owners. Others put them out by the street with a little sign and money jar for the honor system.
  • Compost them. Members on daylily forums scandalize new daylily enthusiasts when they talk about composting seedlings that do not measure up to standards.  It's hard to thin baby plants when they come up 'thick as the hair on the dog's back' but it is for the best to give sturdy plants growing room.
  • Place at the curb with a sign that says 'Free Plants' -- what a bargain for new gardeners. Maybe not such a bargain if they are thugs?
  • Box up and mail for trade. It is a thrill to get a box in the mail with plants you've never grown, or an envelope of seeds. Mailing isn't cheap. The same money could go for plants locally but there are things that you may not find, like a fan of someone's seedling daylily never before seen or a tropical plant to try in a slightly cooler climate.
Soon the garden will be full of plants. Where are your extras going?

I put another Poll on my sidebar, please look and participate if you will.

17 comments:

  1. I just got together with other Austin garden bloggers yesterday and we had a plant swap. It was a lot of fun!

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  2. Great ideas for using extras!I'm lucky that my garden club has a plant sale in the spring - it's our main fundraiser and keeps me from becoming a plant hoarder:)

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  3. Already been giving away things this Spring and will be potting up more to give-a-way..Think I'm going to donate some to the second hand store that gives all profits to autism....

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  4. I’m giving them away, but I’m constantly receiving even more... Now I need to give away some vegetable seedlings, as I have too many and they can’t fit into my garden. I hope I will find someone that will be happy to get them.

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  5. We are in a fire ant quarantine zone -- and I am sure many other southerners are as well. While we don't have the ants, we are in the zone so sharing has to be done very, very carefully (no soil, but still that's no guarantee).

    I give away extra seeds to friends.

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  6. Since I have a new garden, so I don't have too much extra plants. When they show up, I either plant them somewhere else in the garden, or give them to friends. I would like to have a local garden group, so that we can swamp plant.

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  7. Neil Jean,

    Our garden is still growing, mainly into shade gardens. Today a friend gave use 7 large basketball sized hellebores and 2 smaller hellebores, 2 cyclamens, a cone flower, several day flowers which I really enjoy. Her garden is too large to maintain the weeds any more.

    I did give away some swamp sunflower, mountain mint and roof irises last week.

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  8. Today i noticed my "marriage tree" Japanese maple has produce a gazillion seedlings! How h can I destroy them? How can I pot them all up? What to do? I haven't decided. I am sure many of these will become gorgeous trees if given the right home.

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  9. I love to give away plants from my garden, and receive some in return.

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  10. I'm always asking friends and family if they want plants. I've also put out extras with a free sign and they are usually gone within an hour.

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  11. It is a nice problem to have, isn't it? I tend to compost mine, but always try to give some away if I can.

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  12. Well, since I have gotten to the point where I can't make myself throw away plants... I pot them up and give them away or save them for another good place in my own garden. Just depends on the situation.
    Meems

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  13. aloha,

    great ideas, i usually give away alot of excess plants, cuttings and seedlings...its great to share with others and people do the same here to without considering anything in return.

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  14. Usually give them away but I also usually sell some of the surplus at our annual garden club plant sale to raise funds - helps to keep the cost of subscriptions down :)

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  15. I remove more sod and create new beds. Eventually that method won't work and I'll have to find other methods. hehe But there's a few years to go yet before I run out of room.

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  16. I scattered a lot of old seeds, not knowing if any were still viable. Apparently many of them were still good. Now I have lots of thinning to do.

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  17. We mostly give our extras away to friends, although this year, swamped with extra veggie seedlings, we're taking some to give away to co-workers.

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I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.



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