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Old July 18th, 2005, 07:34 AM
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Help

Alright, so we finally got the garden to grow, and are having some serious problems. Ants. Ugh.

Secondly, certain flowers (ie straw daisies) that I've planted are dying/dead. What's up with that?

Thirdly, we have a miniature rosebush that is out of control! It's 6 feet wide and taking over everything! When can I trim it? What's the best way to trim it?

Fourthly, there is some kind of creature that's eating all the leaves on the flowers (but leaving the spines), it's starting to look like a haunted house garden with all the spindly leaves. What to do?
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Old July 18th, 2005, 08:02 AM
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I can help with 3 and 4. Get safer's endall spray for the leafeaters. You can prune the rosebush back anytime you like. I would suggest giving it a bit of shape at the moment and then in the fall cutting it right back. Any offshoots you see that are a lighter greenish are suckers and can be cut right off at the base.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 12:25 PM
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Thanks, BMD, will give it a shot.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 12:35 PM
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Ants ew! Ew! Ew! Hate ants in the garden.. Evil little things. They say that they don't actually harm your plants but I've noticed that stuff that gets invaded with 'em tends to get crispy pretty quick. Maybe because I don't tend to them as much as I should because I don't want to deal with the ants!!!

Anyway -- can you get grits there or are they still a strictly Southern thing?
Grits are our sure-fire natural no-chemical ant killer down here. Not instant grits.. real cooking grits. Sprinkle them where the ants are most obvious like you would any bait... and wait. Apparently the ants like the taste but can't digest them before they expand in their little insect abdomens or something. All I know is it works... takes about 3 days to see the ant mounds deserted.

As for the daisies and such... have you mulched? No mulch can lead to scorched roots... but!! mulch too close to the base of the plants -- and the roots can't breathe and will be essentially strangled to death.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pags
Apparently the ants like the taste but can't digest them before they expand in their little insect abdomens or something.
Oooooooooooo...little exploding ants!

Are the ants harming anything? I know that some plants, like peonies, need ants to help their flowers bloom.

Does anyone know if other plants also use ants?

Ants can perform a really important function by keeping the aphid population down in your garden. They farm the aphids and lay eggs on them. When the eggs hatch they feed off of the aphids.

A gardener I know always tells me to leave the critters that aren't doing any damage because they are probably doing some good that we aren't even aware of!
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Old July 18th, 2005, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearsmom

Thirdly, we have a miniature rosebush that is out of control! It's 6 feet wide and taking over everything! When can I trim it? What's the best way to trim it?
I've always trimmed things back to the closest, for lack of a better word, crotch...(where stems meet)
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