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Posted: Thu May 24, 2012 8:06 pm
by cynthia_h
rainbowgardener wrote:Good suggestions, cynthia, but how can anyone hate California poppies, our beloved state flower? I love them and plant them every year, since here in Ohio they don't survive on their own. They are a sign of "home" to me having grown up in California.
California poppy seeds make their way into everything: compost, dirt, veggie garden boxes. The poppies out-compete veggie seedlings (esp. the ones I only see once a month), leaving them dead, while the poppy plants are maybe 15 inches across. They're a tap-rooted plant: small underground, huge aboveground. Easy to remove, but such a quick life cycle that there are seeds everywhere. Who knows how long I'll have to pull poppies out of my veggie box in Palo Alto?

And at my own house: I HAD a planting circle out front. It hosted sunflowers and amaryllis (naked ladies) in two concentric circles, with hollyhocks on the crown/center of the soil. Now, what's growing besides the amaryllis are: mint (yes, it grew UNDER the sidewalk), kikuyu grass, and California poppies. Oh, and a few sow thistles and dandelions.

I don't have enough soil to keep these pig plants happy; I don't think there's enough soil in the state of California to keep them happy. They don't (unfortunately) out-compete Yellow Star Thistle; *that* would be wonderful!

No, they just bully nice veggies, sunflowers, hollyhocks (which *had* been self-sowing...), and other mild-mannered garden plants. :evil:

They've earned "weed" status in my book, for the gardens I'm responsible for.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:24 pm
by vertigoelectric
Sorry for my late response... again.

After considering many different approaches, I think I'll just go with the 41% glyphosate weed killer.

I just mowed the yard, and even though it's not all the way down to the ground, we're starting our dry summer weather and most of it's just not going to grow back until after the fall. Small areas that I find turning green I can spray down and they'll die off.

Solarizing with plastic is effective but wouldn't work in my case. The amount of plastic I would need would alone cost far more than the liquid weed killer. Then I'd have to weigh it down with something and getting that much gravel just doesn't make sense. Even if I got the plastic and something to weigh it down, remember that I have a dog... a young, anxious wolf-mix that would make confetti of that plastic. I can keep him on a chain for a day or two after spraying with chemicals to allow them to dry, but I can't keep him chained up for the weeks it would take to solarize.


Planting anything else out there just wouldn't do, either... at least, not until I was ready with the resource to do more focused landscaping out there. When we moved in we thought it would be nice to turn it into a nice garden area with stone-edged paths, benches, etc... but I'm nowhere near that point.

While I don't see growing poppies out back as being very helpful in my case, I appreciate the info on them. My wife has tried growing some flowers in a small 'flower bed' we created next to our front porch. Unfortunately things haven't turned out so well and she's given up. Perhaps some poppies, if they grow so easily, would work.

In a sort of half-joking way, I wish I could plant some Kudzu out back and let it just take over the entire yard. It's a pretty plant with green leaves and small flowers with a pleasant scent. Although I'm pretty sure my neighbors, and the city, would not be too happy with that. In fact it might not even be legal.

Although, perhaps if I'm able to acquire some anyway I could plant it in a few spot locations to give our dusty, dry property some green freshness to it. I'd just have to make absolutely positively sure I'm ready to maintain it! Hah!